Limavady toddler leads the way for charity

Jonah McMichael.
Jonah McMichael.

Limavady toddler Jonah McMichael will take centre stage in Limavady this weekend at a fun day in support of a charity his family describe as “a lifeline”.

Jonah was born in October 2014 with Down’s Syndrome, two holes in his heart and a serious respiratory condition called Tracheomalacia. He requires two carers with him at all times.

The hospice offer essential respite and emotional support. The nursing staff are just unbelievable.

Moira McDermott, Jonah’s mum

On Saturday, Jonah will lead the the inaugural parade of super heroes and princesses in the town as part of a family fun day in aid of Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.

Receiving the specialist nursing care of Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, Jonah will be putting on his favourite super hero out fit and, with his mum Moira, dad Darron, family and friends, will lead the cavalcade of vintage cars, tractors, trucks and the local Fire Brigade.

Jonah’s mother, Moira McDermott, said: “Jonah is our very brave little super hero and loved by everyone he meets. Jonah was nine months old and still a patient at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast when we were first introduced to Horizon House in Newtownabbey.

“Being able to stay at the Children’s Hospice meant we could enjoy family time together away from the clinical, medically structured setting of the hospital. This continues to be a lifeline to us today. The hospice offer essential respite and emotional support. The nursing staff are just unbelievable. They step in and take over and that gives Darron and me a chance to just be ourselves. In addition to Jonah’s medical needs, the Hospice provides so many activities for Jonah such as music therapy, swimming, pet therapy, painting, multisensory room, sensory garden, outdoor play and aromatherapy massage. I really don’t know how Darron and I could cope without them and we are delighted to be part of a day in Limavady which will highlight the wonderful work they do, not just for our family, but for so many more in this area.”

Event organiser and local Children’s Hospice Ambassador, Mary McCrea, hopes the event will raise funds and awareness for Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice services in the area.

“It is a privilege to have Jonah lead the parade and I invite everyone to dress up as their hero of choice, from the local football club wearing their team kit to the local nurse, firefighter and PSNI join in,” said Mary.

Assembling at Limavady High School at 1pm, the parade is part of a family fun day at Limavady’s Drumceatt Square. There will be live music and entertainment from 2pm.

Proceeds are in aid of Jonah’s charity, Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.