IRELAND HONOURS ITS KIDS: Joy of Brave Ciara; AWARD FOR SAVING HER BROTHERS WITH 3 OPS

The Mirror (London, England), November 24, 2003 | Go to article overview

IRELAND HONOURS ITS KIDS: Joy of Brave Ciara; AWARD FOR SAVING HER BROTHERS WITH 3 OPS


Byline: PAT FLANAGAN

A LITTLE girl who endured painful operations to save the lives of her three brothers has been crowned Ireland's bravest youngster.

Ciara MacMahon, eight, wept for joy at the Irish People of the Year Awards when she was honoured for making the sacrifice to help John, five, and two-year-old twins Edward and Rory.

The boys suffer from the rare genetic illness Chronic Granulotis Disease, which means they were all born with normal immunity to viruses but none to bacteria and fungi. The tots could even die if they pick up a minor infection and the only known cure is the bone marrow transplant.

But Ciara was willing to have the painful operation three times so her brothers could lead a normal life.

After receiving her award on Saturday she said: "Daddy and Mammy explained to me what was happening to my brothers and that I could help them.

"I'm just very happy that they are getting better. I was very excited to win the award."

Her dad Ben, from Adare, Co Limerick, watched with pride as his daughter stepped up to accept her prize.

Mum Geraldine could not make it to the ceremony because the boys still cannot be exposed to crowds because of the risk of infection.

Little Ciara was one of eight winners of the awards presented by Tanaiste Mary Harney at a glittering banquet in the CityWest Hotel, Dublin.

She shared the Young Person of the Year award with the late Niamh ni Dhoibhilin while Special Olympics supremo Mary Davis picked up the main award.

Ben said: "Ciara is a brave young lady and deserves all the praise and accolades she gets. She never thinks of herself. …

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