PLANNING permission has been granted for an extension that will provide accommodation for a seriously ill Cobh girl.
Little Kate Flynn is on a ventilator full-time and may need it permanently. She was born in June 2013 by emergency C-section at Cork University Maternity Hospital.
She has suffered problems with her breathing since birth and has had dozens of episodes in which she has stopped breathing and needed resuscitation.
Her parents, Lisa and Mark, began to plan a new home for their family because their current accommodation does not meet Kate’s complex needs.
Kate’s current bedroom is situated in a small storeroom off the kitchen, with no window and no bathing facility or storage space for her medical equipment downstairs. After hearing of the family’s plight, Douglas company, Sigma Homes, stepped in and designed an extension to enable the family to cater for Kate’s complex needs in their current home.
The development will be carried out at a reduced cost of €80,000 for the family.
Sigma Homes agreed that a further €60,000 will be met by the company, subcontractors and suppliers.
Contracts manager with Sigma Homes, Patrick O’Brien, said he became aware of the Flynn family’s situation after his colleague David told him to listen to an interview with Lisa about Kate on RedFM.
“I was busy at the time but I listened back to it later and said it to my wife who is a beautician. She had heard about Baby Kate from her clients.” Mr O’Brien said he was struck by the plight of the Flynn family.
“It was very real,” he said.
“I didn’t want to make any promises, but I said we’d see what we could do.”
Sigma Homes renovation relocates Kate’s living quarters up onto the first floor of the home and provides her with a large window view as well as an en-suite wet room.
“When I think back, the fog around Lisa when I first met her, it was a no-hope scenario. I could see she was nervous about even having false hope,” Mr O’Brien said.
“After all those different hurdles, the great news is that they reached their target for construction,” he said, adding that Lisa is still fundraising for additional equipment needed for the house.”
Now that planning permission has officially been granted, construction will begin on August 21.
The project is due to finished by the end of November.
Anyone that can help with the build can contact Babykate@sigmahomes.ie or call the office (021) 2348095.
Donations can be made through https://www.gofundme.com/a-home-for-kate.