Help My Mum Get Life Saving Surgery

This page is to raise funds for vascular surgery for Catherine Ahearne.
She is a 62 year old mother of 6 children and 5 grandchildren. She loves to play the harp, piano and various other instruments and enjoys spending her time outdoors gardening. Most of all she loves to spend time with her grandchildren who adore her. Her eldest grandchild is on the autism spectrum and is extremely close to her grandmother as they share many interests such as art and music. 

In 2018 just one year after losing her beloved son Sam  at age 39 to a swimming accident, Catherine suffered 2 heart attacks and was taken to hospital by ambulance. She had to have 2 stents placed near her heart due to severe blockages. Catherine has always led a healthy lifestyle, she is active and eats right. She doesn't drink or smoke and isn't overweight. She leads a natural lifestyle and is a great cook. If you needed nutritional advice she is the person to ask! In fact she taught wholefood cookery for a short time in the 80's!

Unfortunately due a combination of genetics and stress her healthy lifestyle was not enough to prevent the heart attacks. While Catherine has been recovering she still felt unwell and that there was something the matter. She was concerned about the artery in her neck and kept pushing for it to be checked. She could hear a bruit and after many times of raising her concerns eventually one doctor agreed he could hear it too. Eventually in 2020 an ultrasound was carried out on the carotid arteries which are the ones close to your brain.

Carotid arteries are major blood vessels in the neck that supply blood to your brain. If these become blocked then a stroke or even death is likely.  It is believed that surgery is considered in cases ranging from 50% blockage upwards. 60% is counted as severe and surgery is strongly recommended from 70% upwards. When Catherine got her results back it was a shock, as to look at she seems such a healthy woman. Both arteries were blocked to an extent, but the worst news of all was that the right side is 80% blocked

The consultant recommended surgery right away.

This type of surgery is called Carotid Endarterectomy. While the surgery itself carries dangers and is the cause of a huge amount of stress for our family, it is not the biggest issue we face today. For those that are familiar with the Irish public health service you will be well versed in hearing about the waiting lists for surgery , even prior to Covid-19. Despite this being an emergency situation she could be facing a wait of one year or more on the waiting list. We do not know if she has a year to wait. With the symptoms she has experienced in the last few months it is likely a stroke is imminent. 

Time in this case is a luxury. It is something we do not have. For such an independent woman the thought of facing a situation that could take her independence is devastating, and even worse we realise that a stroke could be fatal.

If we can raise 20k euro to pay privately, Catherine would be able to have surgery straight away, just as the consultant recommended. We have found a vascular surgeon in Galway who we feel would take good care of our Mum. Then our family could spend this time focusing on her treatment, arranging her aftercare and enjoying this time with her before she has to go under the knife. Instead we live in fear of getting a dreaded phone call at any time. 

Our plea to you is to help us achieve our 20k goal and enable us to provide this potentially life saving treatment to Catherine, a woman who has done everything within her power to avoid ill health, but unfortunately for reasons outside of her control has had to endure it. Timing is essential here so we need to do this quickly. If you can share this with your network that can help us raise the funds more quickly. We are trying every avenue possible to make this happen. Please help us.

Yours sincerely,
Siobhan Ahearne (Catherine's daughter).

Picture below was taken the day before Catherine got the bad news

Donations (213)

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  • Brendan McGuinness
    • €200 (Offline)
    • 3 yrs
  • Ceilia Clancy
    • €20 (Offline)
    • 3 yrs
  • Maggie UlsterTyres
    • €20 (Offline)
    • 3 yrs
  • Chrissy Comber
    • €50 
    • 3 yrs
  • Enda McGuinness
    • €100 
    • 3 yrs
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Siobhán Ahearne

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