KATE Flynn‘s return home to Cobh tomorrow night will be emotional.
Workers have spent the last 10 months refurbishing a home for the three-year-old, who suffers from an exceptionally rare medical condition. She is permanently reliant on a ventilator to breathe.
“It will be magical,” said Patrick O’Brien, of Sigma Homes, who spearheaded the remodelling, which began in February.
“We’re expecting an emotional return to their family home. We’ve completely refurbished it and added two extensions and, to go from the little, three-metre by two-metre room Kate slept in to the house they have now will, we hope, be life-changing,” he added.
Kate has had to be resuscitated dozens of times, having stopped breathing.
The family was desperately trying to find the money to adapt their three-storey home, so Kate could have a proper bedroom, as her previous one was a small storeroom off the kitchen. It had no access to natural light or fresh air.
She slept in a cot, because the room was too small for a bed, and she had to wash in a baby bath on the kitchen table, because it would have been unsafe to carry Kate, her ventilator, and resuscitation equipment to the bathroom on the third floor.
“We’ve remodelled the whole house,” said Mr O’Brien. “We’ve built two large extensions; one with a whole new kitchen. As for the other, we extended the sitting room, which was very small, out into Kate’s room.”
Kate’s bedroom has been remodelled to cater for her needs, with space behind her bed for her ventilator and resuscitation equipment, as well as a nurse’s station and a built-in wardrobe.
Her new bedroom contains a large screen window, which looks through to the kitchen, as well as a sliding door onto an anti-slip decking. “We’re expecting around 200 people on Thursday and it is just a big event to welcome the Flynn family to their new home and to say thank-you to everyone involved,” said Mr O’Brien.
“We’re doing a whole Christmas theme, so we’re going to have it dark until baby Kate and her family get to the house. Then, we’re going to plug on the lights and reveal the house with bit of a wow-factor.
“We have a marquee with coffee and hot chocolate, a popcorn machine, Santa, and all his elves are coming, too,” he added.