Pictured Above: A less than impressed Patrick O’Loughlin (18 months old) from Dooradoyle with his parents Stephanie and Pat meeting Keith Earls, Paul Warwick and Paul O’Connell. Picture by: INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan.
Stephanie and Pat O’Loughlin’s son Patrick Michael O’Loughlin, aka Sproggy, died of SUDC (Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood), on January 25 2011. Patrick was 22 months old and their first child at the time.
Since then, the inspiring parents have taken part in the Great Limerick Run, fundraising for charities (in his memory) since May 2012 as a group named “A Stroll For Sproggy”. The first year, they walked for the US-based SUDC Foundation, who are the only global charity who do research specifically into SUDC. They raised about 6,000USD that year, thanks to the help of their friends and family.
Since then, they have fundraised for others like CRY Ireland (who perform regular heart screenings on the families of children, teens and adults who died from a sudden cardiac death), and also last year for Pieta House.
This year, the O’Loughlin’s are holding two fundraising events for First Light. First Light offers support and information for suddenly bereaved parents and families all across Ireland, and promotes research into the sudden, unexpected, often unexplained, deaths of infants and young children. They were previously known as the ISIDA (Irish Sudden Infant Death Association).
A Stroll For Sproggy will be part of the 10K stretch of the Great Limerick Run again this year on May 3, raising funds for First Light.
On May 10, there’s also been organised the Limerick “A Mile in Memory” – First Lights annual walk in memory of all the children who passed away. Walks will be held in many locations around the country and Stephanie O’Loughlin is looking after the Limerick one.
The walk is taking place in the University of Limerick, at the Pavilion on May 10, at 11am. Registration on the day is only €2 per adult, children are free, plus whatever people may want to donate themselves.
For more information on the Mile, you can check out their Facebook page here.
First Light have given the O’Loughlin family so much support since Patrick’s passing 4 years ago, in terms of counselling, monthly support groups, family weekends etc, and they’d like to help give back.
If you want to donate to A Stroll for Sproggy in aid of First Light, you can do so on the fundraising website here.
For more information on the fundraising efforts undertaken in memory of Patrick Michael O’Loughlin, you can check out the Facebook page here.