The Sligo parents of a boy with cerebral palsy say Mrs Brown’s Boys star Danny O’Carroll has given their son a chance at life after donating €30,000 towards his medical care.
Rory Gallagher (4) was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at eight months old and his family were told he’d never walk, talk or see properly.
His parents Shauna and Gerry are selling their family home in order to fund surgeries and ensure their youngest child has every available opportunity in life.
During the week, Shauna received a phone call from Danny, son of comedian Brendan O’Carroll, who told her his family had been following their story for quite a while.
“He asked me how would €30,000 go for us and I just burst out crying,” she told Independent.ie.
“It’s been a rough year, so for this to happen now, it means so much. He’s taken away all that stress. The O’Carroll family made our Christmas.
“I feel like they’ve given Rory the chance to have the chance his deserves.”
Danny (33) was following Rory’s procedures since he was approached by Shauna in the hope of organising a fundraiser for the tot. Although he wasn’t able to do it at the time, he kept an eye out on how the family were going.
“I knew the operation was coming up soon. I saw at one point they were €30,000 short. I called my dad and my sister [Fiona]. We all agreed to donated €10,000 each,” he said.
“It’s always nice to make the phone call, but I wasn’t expecting that reaction from Shauna. She was bowled over.
“I had a little cry too.”
The Gallagher family are currently in St Louis, where little Rory has just had eye surgery, which now gave him perfect vision, something Shauna and Gerry thought might never happen.
“Words can’t describe how we feel. Rory is in great form and has been telling everyone that his eyes are now fixed. Lots of happy tears have been shed.
“When he was 10 months old we were told that our baby was blind in his right eye and that the vision in his left was very poor.
“We were told that there was nothing that could be done. It’s amazing to be here today and know that he now has equal vision.”
Despite the uphill battle Rory has faced since his birth, his parents say he is an incredibly happy boy and always has a smile on his face.
“He’s recently learned he has cerebral palsy after asking why he isn’t able to walk. After we explained it all to him, he just took it all in his stride,” Shauna said.
“He’s a remarkable child. He can’t wait for Santa to come visit him in America. All he wants is a train and a dinosaur.”
Brendan O’Carroll and his family have a history of altruism, having recently made a very substantial donation the St Vincent de Paul, which will ensure that more than 2,000 families will not go hungry this Christmas.
The Mrs Brown’s Boys creator was named Philanthropist of the Year in 2015 for his service to Irish charities.
If you would like to donate to Rory’s fund, you can make a donation here.