A young boy with cardiac disease whose family come from Kilbeggan area is one of the stars of a fundraising calendar by the charity Heart Children Ireland.
Hugh Heffernan (8) was born with serious congenital heart defects and underwent emergency surgery at Our Lady's Hospital in Crumlin to save his life. He spent many weeks in hospital with his parents Laura and Ainsley by his side.
During that period Hugh’s grandparents in Kilbeggan, Rose Keegan and Pauline Heffernan, looked after his older sister Camille and supported Laura and Ainsley through that very difficult and stressful time.
The long term prognosis for Hugh wasn't good, but today he is a lively eight year old, who plays the bodhran and tin whistle, and according to his proud grandmother Rose, is a “real character” with a twinkle in his eye.
While Hugh and other children like him with cardiac disease have a lifetime battle, there is no cure, no permanent fix, just more procedures, medication and constant monitoring.
His condition means that he can't play sports, but he doesn't let that get in the way from leading a full and fun filled life, his granny says.
Hugh, who appears in the calendar with his four legged friend Hopper, will be in the The Bridge Centre in Tullamore, this Saturday, December 9, with his family. The calendar, which costs €10, can be purchased on the day.
For the last 5 years Heart Children Ireland (HCI) have produced a calendar containing photos of children born with congenital heart defects (CHD) to raise funds. 'Pets Leave Paw Prints On Our Heart's the theme of this year’s calendar features pictures of children with CHD with their pets for the different months.
The calendar is also available for sale in four venues in Kilbeggan: Centra, Cost Cutters, Cooney's Pharmacy and the Meat Factory Shop. It can also be purchased online. Just visit www.heartchildren.ie and click the “buy now” button!