Brain surgery boy Jonny says thanks with cookie day
WHEN Portadown boy Jonny McLoughlin went into hospital for his second brain surgery operation in January, his parents were struck by the dilapidated state of the TV sets on which the young patients relied so much to make the long days more bearable.
Not only that, but the microwave in the parents’ room was broken which meant that quick, hot meals were an impossibility for Jonny’s dad Gordon and mum Gillian.
But a single fundraising day last Friday at the Subway sandwich shop in Portadown changed all that, with proceeds from cookie sales going to the Paul Ward at the Royal Victoria Hospital for Sick Children where Jonny was treated.
The cookie day raised £270 - enough to buy two portable TVs and a DVD player - while Ally Fryers, an employee in the Lurgan Subway branch, donated a microwave.
Eight-year-old Jonny was born with an arachnoid cyst where the left side of his brain should have been. He also suffers from autism and epilepsy.
When he was just 12 weeks old, Jonny, who lives in the Killicomaine area, had surgery to drill a small hole in his head so the cyst could breathe.
However, in recent months, as Jonny grew more active, there were fears that he could damage the cyst and a decision was made to cover it up, using a piece of his own skull.
Said his dad Gordon, who is his full-time carer, “He was only in for a few days and had to have 30 stitches in his head but he was back to school in 10 days. While he was in hospital, we noticed that the TVs were in a really bad state, with many of the buttons not even working.
“Jonny loves watching films, and the TVs really make a difference to the children in the wards.
“The staff on the ward, including consultant Dr McConnell, have been very good to Jonny and we wanted to thank them in some way.”
Jonny is a pupil in the Learning Support Unit at Edenderry Primary School and, as well as enjoying school, loves playing computer games and watching films such as Lord of the Rings and Star Wars.
Three years ago, the family was at crisis point when the government withdrew Jonny’s Disability Living Allowance and his dad’s carers allowance.
A story in the Portadown Times highlighted their plight and after a reinvestigation of Jonny’s condition and the family’s circumstances the allowances were reinstated.
Said Gordon, “Edenderry PS, in particular principal Stephen Doyle, were a big help in helping us get information together to put forward our case. We were also overwhelmed by the kindness of people who read about Jonny. And this time around, people have been so kind again.”
Gordon and Gillian have thanked everyone who contributed to the cookie day.
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Weather for Portadown
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: North west