Wexford mother fundraising for urgent life-saving surgery
"This surgery will ensure that my kids grow up with me in their lives."
In 2018, lone parent Claire Malone was awarded the Wexford Person of the Year award for her extraordinary community work. Now, she is the one who needs urgent help.
Mum of three Claire is currently in hospital trying to organise funds to pay for what she says is a "life saving" operation.
In 2014 Claire needed to have her right lung removed due to a congenital condition. As a result, she has post-pneumonectomy syndrome, which means her windpipe and her heart have moved causing significant pressure on her heart.
"My condition unfortunately deteriorated about five weeks ago that put me in St Vincent’s as an in-patient, where they diagnosed a further airway collapse.
"This new issue means I’m going to be having random black-outs. It’s going to limit my life now hugely due to safety issues: I won’t be able to drive, swim, be on my own. There is a whole list of stuff they’re advising against until it’s addressed, because there is no warning signs prior to it occurring and it’s sporadic in nature."
The surgery Claire needs involves inserting a prosthetic gel bag into the cavity and repositioning the heart. Unfortunately, she says that she has been told that the HSE does not have the expertise to perform this procedure.
Instead, Claire's friends and family are trying to raise the €80,000 needed to pay for the operation, which could be performed privately in Dublin.
Claire's friends describe her as, "a giver in life. She set up Wexford People Helping People with one simple idea, create a community Christmas Day Dinner for people who are alone or struggling."
The community event that Claire established has run successfully for the past three years – during which time Claire had significant health issues of her own.
She previously suffered the loss of her partner, who passed away following a short illness in 2015.
Claire has three children – aged 12, 11 and one – and she says that all she wants is to see them grow up. Her family are currently caring for the children while Claire is in hospital.
"This surgery will ensure that my children grow up with me in their lives. My older two kiddos have already had enough pain in their lives after losing their amazing father in 2015."
Claire's friends are calling on people in Ireland and abroad to support their Respect For Claire GoFundMe campaign or to come along the various fundraising events they have organised for the coming weeks.
"We are a group of friends and colleagues of Claire's, we know that a beautiful kind soul like Claire is a blessing to our community, and we are hoping to fundraise the cost of the operation in order to give back some of the great work she has done for our community and give her the opportunity of seeing her three children grow up."