Pictures: Cork kids head to Disneyland thanks to the Cork City Hospitals Children’s Club

Pictures: Cork kids head to Disneyland thanks to the Cork City Hospitals Children’s Club

Nicola O’Regan with her boys, Luke and Evan O’Regan O’Connor, with the teddy bear in memory of their sister, Abby. Pictures: Jim Coughlan

THE family of a little boy who recently lost his twin sister brought along a teddy bear made from her Christmas clothes for a holiday to honour her memory.

Nicola O’Regan left for Disneyland with her sons, Evan (11) and Luke (7), twin sister of the late Abby, for a trip to Disneyland Paris. They were among 54 children and seven adults nominated for the holiday by the Cork City Hospitals Children’s Club charity.

The trio from Carrigtowhill were joined by a very special friend named Abby Bear — a soft toy made from little Abby’s Christmas clothes.

The group from the Cork City Hospitals Children’s Club at Cork Airport as they headed on their annual trip to Disneyland Paris.
The group from the Cork City Hospitals Children’s Club at Cork Airport as they headed on their annual trip to Disneyland Paris.

Their nomination came just a few months after Abby’s death from a life-limiting illness last January.

“Abby Bear travels with us everywhere,” Nicola explained.

“She is made from the clothes that Abby wore last Christmas. Abbey was the centre of everything. She defined all our lives. She taught us many things, particularly about what real love is.

“The boys think about her first thing in the morning and last thing at night. We were lucky to have her for as long as we did.

“Even though she was restricted Abby was treated the same as any other child. We did everything together as a family.”

Siobhán and Killian Tobin as they head to Paris.
Siobhán and Killian Tobin as they head to Paris.

Nicola praised her boys for the way they have coped through the loss of their sister.

“They give me a reason to get up in the morning. We’ve been counting down the days and hours to Disneyland together.

“Luke celebrated what would have been his and Abby’s seventh birthday last March. There are difficult days, but then you look at a picture of Abby and she just smiles back at you.”

Caitlin and Carmel Geaney, from Bweeng, all smiles at the airport.
Caitlin and Carmel Geaney, from Bweeng, all smiles at the airport.

Nicola said she believes that Abby is always looking out for them.

“I think Abby is looking down on her brothers and giving them a present from above. She always loved Toy Story so we’re all going to go on the Toy Story ride together. It’s all about making memories.”

The brave mum spoke of how her daughter is no longer in pain adding: “She was seizing all day and all night. We’re just glad that she’s not in pain anymore.”

The family has learned a number of lessons from their experiences.

“You have to live every day like it’s your last,” she said.

“We love looking back at memories together, whether they’re from the good times or even funny times. I try to make every day as positive as possible for the boys.”

Katie Corrigan, Doireann O’Kelly Moynihan and Holly Corrigan heading on the trip.
Katie Corrigan, Doireann O’Kelly Moynihan and Holly Corrigan heading on the trip.

Meanwhile, Carmel Geaney from Bweeng was bidding farewell to her daughter Caitlin. The nine-year-old was nominated for the trip for her bravery and determination.

“Caitlin was born with no sight in her left eye as a result of glaucoma. Linda O’Connell from Lee Travel saw her doing readings at Mass and decided to nominate her for the holiday.

“When I found out I was so proud and delighted for Caitlin. She’s unbelievable and has always just gotten on with life.”

Donnacha Geary, Calum Geary and Liam Davies off on the trip.
Donnacha Geary, Calum Geary and Liam Davies off on the trip.

Siobhán Tobin learned that she and her son Killian had been nominated for the trip by her colleague John Looney who founded the Cork City Hospitals Children’s Club.

“I work in security in CUH with John,” she explained.

“This will be our first time in Disneyland. Killian has autism and went into first-year recently. He found the transition difficult so it was a hard few months. When I was told that he had been nominated I cried. This is a really lovely honour.”

The Cork City Hospitals Children’s Club was founded by John Looney back in 1992 to offer respite to children who have suffered illness or trauma.

Since then, the club has gone from strength to strength and now has over 40 volunteers.

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