Castleisland native, Marisa Reidy spent over the past 15 years of her life as a journalist with The Kerryman.
It’s a career she’s put on hold as she wades into a battle with government and drugs companies.
A battle that only the heartless can defend on the side of government, big business and pharmaceutical companies.
In that time she got married and has since come to national prominence as the fighting, loving parent of a handsome, lively little girl, Hannah – who happens to be living with Cystic Fibrosis.
Marisa did an interview with UTV Ireland which is going out this evening at 5.30pm.
For those who will miss it I’ll hopefully get a link up here later on tonight.
For background and for now here’s a few extracts from a piece Marisa did for The Kerryman some time ago.
I’ve written this article for The Kerryman today and would please ask that you have a read.
EVERY day for the past week I’ve been woken by the deafening sounds of my daughter coughing incessantly – the sounds coming from her little chest more like those you might expect from an 80-year-old man on 60 cigarettes a day.
However, Hanna is neither 80 nor a smoker – she is just five and has Cystic Fibrosis (CF).
Thankfully the current cough hasn’t got so bad that it’s keeping her awake at night , but the reality is that yet another infection has taken hold and we need to clear it to avoid a two-week hospital admission. Her last one was at Easter.
And so begins the morning battle with the nebuliser, something to which even the liveliest child would object first thing the in the morning. Then some rigorous physiotherapy to try and clear the offending mucus that’s building in her lungs and making her cough – again not the ideal start to a five-year-old’s day. And that’s before we even think of breakfast, getting dressed or brushing teeth.
But this has now become the norm in our house, even when she’s well. When she’s not well, the nebulisers and physio sessions are intensified from twice to at least three or four times a day.
Before we hit the road, Hanna takes both antibiotics that have been prescribed by her CF specialist – the first of two doses that she takes every day for two weeks.
On top of that there’s her daily dose of oral vitamins, enzymes and probiotics – again, something she will need to do for life, not just when she’s sick.
As each day passes, I listen intently for every cough, hoping, praying and willing her to sound better. But then, I’m woken by that heart-breaking sound again and my heart sinks.
Nothing to do, however, but dust myself down, go to her room and start the process all over again. Maybe tomorrow will be better.
It’s par for the course with Cystic Fibrosis and as parents – just like with all illnesses – you do whatever is in your power to keep your child healthy. That’s our job, right?
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