Climbing Errigal for our wee fighter Daithi O’Doherty

Daithi's parents Karen and David pictured at the foot of Errigal with their sisters and brothers.
Daithi's parents Karen and David pictured at the foot of Errigal with their sisters and brothers.

The family of a young Derry boy who died from a rare genetic condition in March, have revealed how his grandfather died on the same day.

More than 100 people climbed Mount Errigal in Donegal on Sunday in memory of 16 month-old Daithi O’Doherty.

Daithi O'Doherty.

Daithi O'Doherty.

Daithi passed away on March 5 from a rare condition called Mitochondrial Disease.

His family wanted to do something to raise awareness of the condition, and raise funds for the Katie Rose foundation charity which supported them during his illness.

Daithi’s aunt Lisa McConalogue said that the family called Daithi their “wee fighter.”

“Daithi was born at 31 weeks weighing just 1 lb 9,” said Lisa. “He stayed in the neonatal ward for five months.

“It was a huge shock to lose them both on the same day. My daddy had been sick but we didn’t expected him to die that day. David said he felt a comfort in the fact that daddy would be there now to look after Daithi, and that has really helped us.”

Lisa McConalogue (Auntie)

“We thought that it was just because he was premature.

“He got out of hospital but two weeks later was brought back in. He was ventilated and taken to the Royal.”

Lisa said that no matter what health problems Daithi endured, he kept fighting.

“We called him our wee fighter,” she said. “He was always smiling.”

On the day Daithi died, his devastated dad David had to break the news to his own father Barry Hasson, who was seriously ill in hospital, that Daithi had passed away. Just hours later, Barry passed away too.

“It was a huge shock to lose them both on the same day,” said Lisa. “My daddy had been sick but we didn’t expected him to die that day. David said he felt a comfort in the fact that daddy would be there now to look after Daithi, and that has really helped us.”

Family friend Seamus Fox from Fighting Fit decided to organise Sunday’s climb of Mount Errigal to raise money for the foundation.

“We had an amazing turnout at our Day for Daithi,” said Lisa. “People who didn’t even know Daithi turned out. One man told us he found out about the walk when he was in the pub the night before and decided to come along and walk for the baby.

“At the top we released balloons. It was really emotional but such an amazing day. The support the family have received has been just amazing. So many people followed his story on facebook. We just want to thank everybody who came out on Sunday and walked that mountain for Daithi. We would also like to thank the many people who sponsored us as that made such a difference. And thank you to the Bentley bar which provided the food after the climb.” Funds raised will be donated to the Katie Rose Foundation.

The climbers get ready to ascend Errigal.

The climbers get ready to ascend Errigal.

Daithi's parents David and Karen.

Daithi's parents David and Karen.