'Katie passed away at home, with all of us around her. Without LauraLynn we wouldn't have those memories'

With the birth of a baby, it’s easy to take for granted the endless years of family time you think you will have together. Being hit with the reality that this time is going to be significantly reduced, the heartbreak hardly bears thinking about.

And yet, this is the reality that the Tumulty family faced. Born with a mitochondrial disease Katie Tumulty had a host of medical complications upon her birth and had to spend the first six months of her life in hospital. Olive Tumulty (Katie's mam) explains "When you have a baby you are thinking of their whole life ahead of them; school, their friends, having family time for years and years. And then you are suddenly hit with the reality that their time is going to be limited. It's quite sad, and hard to adjust to that." 

It was when Katie was ten months old that the family discovered the LauraLynn House; a palliative care service for children with life-limiting conditions which also provides support for their families. Together they went to the LauraLynn House once a month for two nights of respite; with Katie receiving incredible care while her parents had some much-appreciated relief and downtime. 

At that time Katie was getting 30 different doses of medicine every day, as well as being tube fed. This proved time-consuming and meant that mum and dad had to be constantly on alert. Olive Tumulty (Katie's mum) explains, “we didn’t realise how much we needed Laura Lynn until we arrived. We had just been coping as best we could”.

When the family came to stay for those two nights each month, the nurses at the LauraLynn House took care of everything. The parents could concentrate on having fun with their two girls and make the most of their precious time together. Olive says,

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“Katie was getting the best of care. We could spend time with her. We could spend all day with her if we wanted. Without LauraLynn we wouldn’t have those nice memories.”

Katie passed away at home with the family all around her.

Many grieving parents have reported how, as they grieve the death of their sick child, they also have to come to terms with the sudden removal of various personnel and organisations who had been helping the child up until that point. This means that not only are they left to deal with the loss of a child, but also they’re also left with a big gap of personal contact.

Despite the fact that she is no longer here, Katie’s sister Lily, her parents and her new baby brother Ronan (who was born five week’s after Katie's death) continue to come to LauraLynn house for play therapy, bereavement group and family events. It means a lot to the family to be able to return to a space where the staff knew Katie, and where they can continue to get support post-bereavement. 

“It’s lovely to still have that link and feel welcomed, always.”

The team at LauraLynn House provides a holistic approach to palliative care for children with life-limiting conditions and support for their families. This allows parents to be ‘Mum and Dad’ rather than full-time carers, and make happy memories that will last a lifetime.

Pictured is Katie Tumulty and her sister Lily Tumulty

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Support the work of LauraLynn House

The Heroes Ball takes place in the Intercontinental Hotel in Ballsbridge on Saturday 12 May 2018. It celebrates all the little heroes who benefit from the support of LauraLynn.

Sponsored by DCC and Marks and Spencer, the gala evening will raise much-needed funds for the palliative care that LauraLynn provides to children with life-limiting conditions and their families.

Miriam O’Callaghan will be host and MC for the evening, which will include a hotly-anticipated charity auction with some very prestigious items up for grabs. Music and entertainment will be provided into the night by band Perfect Day.

A Corporate package costs €2,500 per table of twelve, while a limited quantity of individual tickets is available for €175 each. In addition to providing vital funds to LauraLynn, the ticket price includes drinks reception, five-star dinner with wine, and entertainment throughout the night.

For further information please contact:

Jacqui at [email protected]alynn.ie or 01 289 3151 for ticket enquiries and raffle/auction prizes

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Claire at [email protected] or 01 289 3151 for corporate tables and sponsorship opportunities.

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