Local kids benefit from charity fundraiser

Eimear Harkin, who has undergone open heart surgery at the Evalina London Children�"s Hospital.
Eimear Harkin, who has undergone open heart surgery at the Evalina London Children�"s Hospital.

The families of two local children have benfitted from a charity fundraiser at a Co. Derry horse riding school.

Crindle Stables, outside Limavady, raised £1,500 from an open day at their Carrowclare Road premises at Easter.

The money has gone to two families with seriously ill children - seven month old Eimear Harkin, from Derry, who has undergone open heart surgery to repair a hole in her heart, and two-and-a-half-year-old Dylan Crothers, from Coleraine, who is ungoing treatment for Leukaemia.

Hazel Patterson, from Crindle, explained: “We know both families through children riding here at Crindle. Two of Dylan’s older sisters, Amy and Katie, ride at the stables and Katie mentioned about her wee brother being diagnosed with Leukaemia and my heart just went out to the family.

“One of our daughters, Amy, was diagnosed with a spinal cord tumour when she was 18 months so I know what it is like to have a seriously ill young child.

“Thankfully, Amy was able to undergo pioneering spinal surgery in Birmingham and she is now a happy 18-year-old, but we know all too well that having a seriously sick child puts a lot of incredible pressure on a family. We thought about wee Dylan and what his parents must be going through and decided to do something to help.

“We raised the money with an open day at the stables and it was incredibly well supported. We wanted to be able to give the family a donation to help with the practical costs of running back and forth to the hospital and other expenses associated with Dylan’s treatment and care.”

Hazel then discovered that another Crindle regular, Sean Harkin, had a young family member who was seriously ill.

Sean’s little cousin, Eimear, was born with a hole in her heart and had to undergo open heart surgery four weeks ago in London.

Sean’s mum, Ann-Marie, explained: “My son and daughter both ride at Crindle and it was when we had Sean’s seventh birthday party at Crindle that Hazel met my sister Celine and her baby Eimear.

“When they heard what Celine and Eimear were going through they decided to donate some of the funds from their open day to help with the practical costs associated with Eimear’s treatment and care. On behalf of the whole family, we cannot thank them enough. Eimear has now come through the surgery and is making a full recovery. The donation from Crindle has been so helpful in covering things like travelling costs for the many hospital runs involved in her treatment and after care.”

Likewise, Dylan’s mum, Alison said the family have been overwhelmed by the support they’ve received from Crindle.

Alison said: “We very much appreciate everything Hazel and Trevor have done for us. The girls have been riding there for years and Hazel and Trevor were so thoughtful to put on this event in aid of Dylan.”

“The likes of Hazel and Trevor from Crindle are making our journey through this that little more bearable and we can’t thank them enough for their thoughtfulness and support.”