A BALLINHASSIG teen whose remarkable story touched the hearts of many has sadly passed away.
Thirteen-year-old Arron O'Leary came to public attention in December 2015 when he received a “Christmas Miracle” in the form of a long-awaited double lung transplant.
Aged 11 at the time, Arron, who had Cystic Fibrosis, was airlifted to Newcastle's Freeman’s Hospital for the lifesaving operation.
As he recovered and enjoyed improving health in the months following the surgery, he took life by the reigns, enjoying biking and watersports with newfound energy.
He maintained close ties with the Cork City Hospital Children's Club, and in October joined them with his older brother Cian and mother Caroline on their annual trip to Disney Land Paris.
Chairman of the charity John Looney conveyed his sincere condolences to the O'Leary family.
“We are so, so sad to hear this news. Arron was a funny boy and got on so well with everyone.
“He never complained about anything and just went with the flow.”
Mr Looney and Garda John Long visited Arron in Newcastle following his surgery, bringing Christmas in the form of gifts donated by the Late late Toy Show. He recalled Arron's appreciation.
“He was so grateful for the smallest things in life. Any little thing we did for him, he was always so appreciative.
“One of the the greatest things is that he got to go to Euro Disney again and enjoy it that time, and that his mother got to see it all."
A requiem Mass will take place tomorrow at 11am in the Church of Mary, Mother of God, Ballygarvan with funeral afterwards to St James’ Cemetery, Chetwynd.
The family have asked that donations be made in lieu of flowers to Marymount Hospice, Build 4 Life cystic fibrosis charity and Cystic Fibrosis Ireland.