A WEEK after being named Limerick Carer of the Year, Colette O’Shea from Lisnagry went a step further today when she was presented with the Netwatch Family Carer of the Year award at the national finals in Dublin.
The awards recognise the love, sacrifice and extraordinary commitment of the more than 500,000 family carers across the country who provide crucial care at home to loved ones with additional needs.
Colette cares for her husband Kieran who has Motor Neuron Disease and frontal lobe dementia. She advocates tirelessly for Kieran and is his voice as they navigate the pain, stress and financial hardship associated with a progressive life-limiting condition.
Colette also cares for their 11 year-old son Luke who was diagnosed in 2016 with advanced Crohn’s Disease and his treatment and care means regular, long journeys by bus from Limerick to Dublin.
Her aim for the future is ensure her husband and son receive the best care possible and to make life as normal and comfortable as possible for both, while also raising her other two children, Hayden (10) and Caoimhe (8).
Her immediate priority is to carry out maintenance work on the family home which has fallen into major disrepair since Kieran became increasingly unable to handle basic jobs.
The roof needs replacing, the drains need major work and, in all, bringing the house up to a condition that will make it suitable for Kieran’s deteriorating health and his family’s needs will cost around €300,000.
A fundraising campaign has been started by family friends on crowdfunding platform to help the O’Sheas.
They have set a crowdfunding target of €100,000 to help modify the house to meet the family’s needs.
The O’Shea Go Fund Me page can be found here