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Darren and Pamela O' Brien of Ballina, with a photograph of their baby Sophie. Photograph by John Kelly.

dancers sought for charity barn dance

Experienced dancers have been invited to showcase their talents at a charity barn dance in Rodger’s Bar, Scariff on this Saturday night at 8 pm.

All age groups from teenagers up to pensioners are being urged to support this venture in aid of Crumlin Children’s Cardiac Unit.

A number of spot prizes will be awarded on the night for those who display sublime dancing skills and for the best dressed male and female.

It is being organised by the parents of Sophie O’Brien who was born on May 6 last with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, a serious defect in the left side of her heart and died less than four weeks later on June 2 with her family in Ballina, Killaloe.

While Darren O’Brien (31), Scariff, and his wife, Pamela (32), are still devastated over the loss of Baby Sophie, they are determined that something good will emerge from their personal tragedy.

They have issued a fresh appeal for people to attend this charity event in large numbers so they can raise as much money as possible for Crumlin. Music will be provided by Gearoid Devanney.

Tickets for this event are on sale in Rodger’s Bar, Scariff and Joey Kavanagh’s Butchers, Scariff. Darren recalled that Sophie was born four weeks early on May 6 with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, she had two operations and was doing so well.

“We were so thrilled the day she was discharged from Crumlin’s Cardic Unit to come to our home in Ballina, Killaloe. “Little did we know within six days we would lose Sophie,” he said.

“As her family, we want Sophie to be remembered, we also want to be able to help other families who are living in Ronald McDonald House, which was our home for three weeks. “We also want to help the Children’s Cardiac Unit in Crumlin’s Children’s Hospital.

“We can’t describe what we face every day. No parent should have to see their small little child attached to a ventilator. No parent should have to kiss their small baby goodbye and sign consent forms for operations and pray you would see your baby again,” he said.

“We are so proud the way Sophie moved from intensive care unit with all machines and moved onto the ward. Our Sophie showed us how strong she was. We will forever be grateful to all the staff in Ronald McDonald House and also all amazing staff who cared so well for our beautiful Sophie,” he said.

Dan Danaher

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