Local charity for well-loved teenager, the late Cian Neary, handed over a number of goodie bags at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin, the Ronald McDonald House and St John’s Ward in Mullingar Hospital the week before Christmas.
Posting on the Cian’s Kennels Facebook page last week, Cian’s mother, Evelyn explained that it is always “a difficult journey back up the N4” and one which brings back memories of similar journeys which were filled with hope or despair.
“What made the trip easier was that the car was full to the brim with gifts for the families and staff at the three locations visited,” said Evelyn in a Facebok post.
“This time two years ago Cian was in Mullingar General and his release before Christmas seemed unlikely (we finally escaped on Christmas Eve!)
“I know that if someone had walked into his room and given him one of the Cian’s Kennels gift bags he would have loved it.”
Everything item in the gift bags is there for a reason. There’s a mug to symbolise Cian’s love of tea and a woolly hat which brings back memories for his family.
“Here the problems would probably start for me. It would be the wrong colour which would lead him to the website (cianskennels.ie) where he would see the other fab merchandise (plug, plug) and the online shopping would begin... and boy could he shop,” she said.
There’s also a photo frame, the idea for which came from Cian’s time in St John’s Hospital in his final months.
“The very talented Dearbhaill Clarke painted a beautiful picture of Cooper (Cian’s beloved dog) for Cian,” said Evelyn.
“Cian kept it on his locker in the hospital and it was a great topic of conversation with the many consultants, doctors, nurses and others who visited Cian. His face would light up, he was so proud of his dog and loved talking about him.
“We hope that there will be many more Cian’s Kennels pet photos on hospital lockers and that, through these photos, sick children will talk about their pets and maybe also remember Cian and his love of his dog.”
There’s also a calendar of pet pictures - with a photo of Cooper on the front - and a pet bag with treats and toys for the furry, four-legged friends that bring so much love to their owners.
“So to any family or young person who will open one of these 40 odd bags that we delivered this week, we hope it brings a smile and that you will tell the story of the amazing young man who started all of this,” said Evelyn from herself, Enda and Shane Neary.
“To the bereaved families who received our gift and who share the grief of Christmas without their beloved child, we hope your pet brings you joy and that you have a peaceful Christmas of cherished memories of happy family times.”