UPDATE: Limerick sisters appeal to the public to help save their mother Tara O Flaherty’s life

Tara O Flaherty

Tara O Flaherty pictured with her daughter Kelley Noone O Flaherty at LAW in Kilfinane last Christmas

UPDATE: Tara O Flaherty receives the date for her life-saving surgery, but needs financial support 

Last month, two Limerick sisters, Alanna and Kelley Noone O Flaherty appealed to the public for help in raising funds for a life-saving surgery for their mother Tara. Her rheumatoid arthritis had led her two top vertebrae to dislocate which would inevitably lead to death, and, originally, €170,000 was needed to save her life. Recent developments have meant that the costs of the surgeries will be covered, but another €25,000 is still urgently needed to help pay for the lead surgeon, outpatient appointments, ongoing MRI/CT scans, angiograms, physiotherapy, home care provisions, and occupational therapy.

Tara O Flaherty

Tara pictured in the Miami J collar that she now must wear to prevent further dislocation and assist with breathing

This week, Tara met with her surgeon in Galway and, after reviewing her MRI, he booked her theatre space as an urgent case for September 4. He also placed her in a Miami J collar to prevent further dislocation of her top vertebrae, and to assist with her breathing and swallowing difficulties. The reality really hit home with the O Flaherty’s, as they were informed that without the surgery, Tara would be very lucky to see Christmas. 

The life-saving surgery will consist of 16 professionals including orthopaedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, cardiovascular surgeons, anaesthetists, and robotics. Luckily, the huge burden of covering the whole surgery has been halved. But the money that has been raised thus far, and the further funds which they hope to raise, will be utilised over the next two years to pay for other essential costs including the lead surgeon, outpatient appointments, ongoing MRI/CT scans, angiograms, physiotherapy, home care provisions and occupational therapy, which will all play an essential role in Tara’s recovery. There will be vigilant monitoring of the above to ensure the fusion and succession of the hardware and bone grafts.

Tara’s daughter Alanna O Flaherty said, “We are halfway there because of all of your help. Now let’s get Mom to the finish line. From the bottom of our hearts, a big thank you. If you haven’t donated and you are in a position to do so, please do, and encourage your friends, family, and colleagues to do so. Most importantly, please keep sharing our Go Fund Me Page and help us reach our new reduced target and help keep our Mom alive.”

To donate and help save Tara O Flaherty’s life, click here.

 

Limerick sisters appeal to the public to help save their mother Tara O Flaherty’s life

By I Love Limerick Correspondent Mary Doyle

Two Limerick sisters, Alanna and Kelley Noone O Flaherty, are appealing to the public for help in raising funds for a life-saving surgery for their mother. €170,000 must be raised to save their mother Tara’s life, as her rheumatoid arthritis has led her two top vertebrae to dislocate; a condition that will result in death if not operated on immediately. 

Tara O Flaherty

Tara O Flaherty pictured with her daughters Alanna, left, and Kelley, right

When Tara O Flaherty was just 21 she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects the joints as well as a variety of other body systems, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, and blood vessels. This autoimmune disorder occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own tissues.

Tara’s condition has worsened significantly over the years due to the side effects of medications and the progression of the disease. Her two top vertebrae are now dislocating, a condition known as AtlantoAxial Subluxation, and surgery is needed within the next five weeks to prevent full dislocation, and to save Tara’s life. 

There is a succession of surgeries required to treat Tara’s disease. The initial surgery will deal with stabilising the C1 and C2, which also includes a pelvic bone graft. Then, 12 weeks later, a fusion of C4 and C5 will be needed, and a further 12 weeks on, Tara will need to have a heart ablation. The cost of the surgeries and treatments is not being covered by the State or by Tara’s health insurance, so the public’s support is badly needed by Tara and her family.

Growing up watching their mother battle this debilitating illness whilst continuing to smile through her pain has been extremely difficult for the 19 and 20-year-old sisters Alanna and Kelley, and they say that they are certainly not ready to lose their mother yet.

Tara’s daughter Kelley said, “It is going to be a long year and the funds we are hoping to raise will go towards Mom being able to avail of having these surgeries and making the required adaptations to our house. We will keep everyone posted on a periodic basis as mom goes through these various surgeries. With your help, you can help save our Mom’s life.”

 

 
 
 
 
 
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I understand long posts are daunting but I urge you to please read this. My sister Kelley and I have been sharing a campaign for our Mom and we want to tell you why. Our mom, Tara, requires Life Saving Surgery within the next 4-5 weeks and it is vital that we raise the funds necessary for her surgery. Recently Mom met with a neurosurgeon who informed her that she requires immediate surgery on her neck as her top two vertebrae are dislocating. The medical term for this is AtlantoAxil Subluxation and without the surgery the result is death. Mom requires a succession of surgeries which you can learn more about through the link in my bio. It is going to be a long year and the funds we are hoping to raise will go towards Mom being able to avail of these surgeries. We will keep you posted on a periodic basis but in the meantime we please ask that you share this post, share the link and donate whatever it is that you can. Please help us save our moms life. Thank you.

A post shared by Alánna Belle (@alannaoflaherty) on

To donate and to help save Tara O Flaherty’s life, click here.

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