A Cork family has thanked their local community for their support for a fundraiser to cover the cost of life-changing surgery for their five-year-old daughter.
The Murphy family in Crosshaven set up the fundraiser earlier this month to help cover the cost of a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery for five-year-old Ali, who was diagnosed with spastic diplegia Cerebral Palsy when she was 18 months.
Ali uses a walking frame to get around and a wheelchair for longer distances. Her family say the SDR surgery is Ali’s best chance at being able to gain more independence as well as easing the pain she is currently suffering.
Having received a date for the life-changing surgery in Leeds Children's Hospital next month, Ali’s parents Neville and Laura Murphy set up the online fundraiser last week.
As well as the surgery, the family will also have to cover the price of spending four weeks in Leeds along with physiotherapy and other additional costs.
In just over a week, the family surpassed their goal of raising €80,000, with over €85,550 raised.
Ali’s father, Neville Murphy said that the family are “shellshocked” by the response their fundraiser has received.
They received 600 donations and Mr Murphy said that knowing they can afford the surgery next month is a “massive relief” and they had not been expecting to reach their target so quickly.
“We really are hugely, hugely grateful,” he said.
“If I had time, I would do 600 individual responses. It’s overwhelming really,” he added.
The family recently moved to the Crosshaven area and noted the support they have received from their local community.
“From little to big donations- it’s lovely, especially when you’re working most of the week and you don’t really think you’re a visible part of the community and then something like this happens and it makes you feel like you are. You’re noticed. It’s great.”
Mr Murphy thanked the school community at Ali’s school, Educate Together in Carrigaline, Heronswood Childcare, Sherpa Kids and Ali’s physio, Alan Lyons as well as Graham White and Meg Heflim for their support along with everyone else who donated.
With an operation date for next month, the family is hoping to have it completed by the Easter weekend.
“To be sitting here now and to say that this will be done by Easter, it’s fantastic and the younger the better really, it does give her every chance of success.”