Longford Leader columnist Mattie Fox: McKeon family overwhelmed by goodwill they have received

Mattie Fox


Mattie Fox



Mattie Fox

Longford Leader columnist, Mattie Fox

When I learned of the plight of Evan McKeon, a son of Ann & Gerry from Colmcille, I contacted Ann, his mother, who wasn’t at all anxious to publicise the situation when I asked her.

However, she said I could give space to creating awareness of the situation with regard to organ donation, as without it, they wouldn’t have their son, now in the condition he’s in.

I went through Ann’s Facebook page, and came upon the piece below, which Ann herself wrote in the aftermath of his heart transplant surgery.

Nothing I could write would serve the purpose nearly as well.

Here it is:

“They say ‘It takes a village to raise a child’. This proverb was never so evident to us than last Tuesday when our precious oldest son underwent heart transplant surgery.

“We got the call at 1.30am on Tuesday morning and boarded a plane at 3.30am to Freeman Hospital in Newcastle. All thanks to the staff at Crumlin hospital and Granard Gardaí. The longest and most terrifying/amazing journey of our lives.

“The whole journey all we could think about was the donor and their family, which we prayed for. We arrived in Newcastle at 4.30am where we waited an agonising 14 hrs to see if the organ was suitable!

“We handed Evan over to the surgeons at 7.30pm on Tuesday evening. And were comforted by the fact that there was a church full of people at home praying for Evan which coincidentally started at exactly the same time. And hundreds more throughout Ireland, the UK and USA praying also.

“We will never forget the overwhelming emotion, goodwill and support we got and are still receiving. We could almost feel it way over here across the water.

“Evan came out of theatre at 7.30 Wednesday morning the longest night of our lives and surgery went as planned.

“Evan is now off the ventilator, breathing on his own and sitting up chatting a little. He has a long road ahead and who knows how this story will end but I know one thing that you all play a part in it.

“So keep praying for Evan and for the amazing family of the donor, who gave Evan the gift of life. So instead of “a village raising a child“ I think the whole of Longford. Bits of Ireland and beyond have raised this particular one. God bless you all.

“Forever grateful and humbled

“Ann, Gerry, Evan, Jonah and Lily Rose. X”

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