Dungiven couple, Toni and Conor Lavery, have formed “Team Bronagh” with close family and friends to compete in the Belfast City Marathon and raise much needed funds for a children’s charity very close to their hearts.
Bronagh Lavery was born in May 2011 with multiple complex medical needs. The infant is currently receiving treatment in preparation for the heart surgery she will have later this year to correct a serious defect, known as ASD common atrium. The condition means she is fully dependant on a constant supply of oxygen to support her breathing and is tube-fed directly into her stomach to reduce the effort taken during feeding.
The vast majority of Bronagh’s treatment, over the past nine months, has been through the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, which has meant many journeys and long stays away from home for Toni and Conor.
Toni said; “The time spent away from home on the ward with Bronagh is exhausting but with the support and facilities made available through the Children’s Heartbeat Trust we have been able to deal better with the stresses of hospital life.
“The consultants, doctors and nursing staff have all been so helpful in keeping us updated with Bronagh’s progress and discussing her future treatments. Bronagh’s older sisters, Sinead (5) and Aoife (3), have always been made very welcome by all the hospital staff, who have allowed them to share in Bronagh’s care and help us maintain as normal a family life as possible.”
The Children’s Heartbeat Trust is a charity which provides practical and emotional support as well as on-site accommodation for families of children with heart disease receiving treatment in Clark clinic and the cardiac ward in the Royal Hospital. The Trust also assists in funding top quality medical equipment and initiatives like the much-needed MRI scanner for the Children’s Hospital.
Conor said: “Team Bronagh is made up of eleven members taking on the Belfast City Marathon. I am attempting the full 26.2 miles alongside ten runners from our friends and family who will make up two relay teams. I’m looking forward to starting the race beside my wife Toni, who is running the first leg of the relay. We hope our efforts result in raising awareness and funds for the Children’s Heartbeat Trust and their amazing support for families like us”.
Team Bronagh’s fundraising can be supported by donating in the following ways:
1. Going online at www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/bronagh
2. Northern Bank have set up an account, which closes on May31st: SORT CODE - 950306; ACCOUNT NUMBER – 90059129