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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘There is no cure or treatment other than a double lung transplant in Dublin’

A charity tractor run and dyno day will take place later this month to raise funds for Mary T Walsh Sexton’s ongoing care, house modifications and medical expenses.

In late 2022, the married mother-of-three from Co Limerick, who initially hails from an agricultural background, was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, with the need for life-long use of oxygen 24/7 and a very poor lung function in both lungs.

The family, (husband, Gerard, sons, Ciaran and Darragh and Aishling), have established a GoFundMe page, with a fundraising target of €30,000.

Mary T Walsh Sexton

On the page, her daughter, Aishling writes:

“Our lovely mother who even after having all her vaccines and cocooning at home, on top of her own prior illness that she had already, ended up getting Covid-19.”

“Soon after Halloween in 2021, she ended up in University Hospital Limerick, where she was put into an induced coma and also put on a ventilator for several months as her lungs went into lung failure.”

“On top of all this, she had double pneumonia and a blood clot in the lungs. She was in such a critical condition we did not know what was going to happen or if she was going to make it.”

“We were called into the ICU ward at least 3 times to say goodbye to her, which was very hard to be told by doctors that she would not survive.”

Despite the severity of her condition, she had “shocked absolutely everyone”, including the medics, with the “phenomenal” progress she had made.

After five months in Limerick Regional Hospital at the end of March/April 2022, she was moved to rehabilitation at St Camillus Hospital Limerick.

Here, she had to re-learn all her motor skills, but with the care and support from all staff in both hospitals, she returned home at the end of June 2022, where she has remained for over a year now.

Double lung transplant

According to her family, “there is no cure or treatment other than a double lung transplant for mam in Dublin”.

“We do not know if she will be lucky enough to get a lung transplant as there is a long process involved before she gets to that point, but we are praying and hoping she will,” her daughter said.

“I know many people have been asking how they could help us. Well, this is how. We would really appreciate it if you could spare as little or as much as you can donate.”

“I would like to raise as much money, to help with some of our family’s financial worries, so we can concentrate on getting through this nightmare. Thank you in advance for all your donations, we really appreciate it.”

Farming roots

Her husband, Gerry Sexton, told That’s Farming editor, Catherina Cunnane:

“My wife is from a long line of farmers in Kilmallock. Her dad and brother are farming, and her mother is from a farm in Knockainey, Co Limerick.”

“I work on a farm in Kilmallock and my son, Darragh is going to MTU in Tralee, where he is completing an agricultural science degree and he works part-time with a local agricultural contractor.”

“Also, my son, Ciaran, is milking cows part-time but is an engineer by trade. Darragh and Ciaran are organising the forthcoming event,” he added.

Charity event

All funds raised from the charity vintage run and dyno day taking place at GVM Mart Kilmallock, Co Limerick on Sunday, August 20th, 2023, will go to Mary’s family.

Registration is from 10:30 am with the run leaving at 12 noon sharp.

All vehicles are welcome – both vintage and modern with an entry fee of €20/entry.

Dyno testing will commence at 2:30 pm – Pre-booking is required by phone or social media for dyno testing.

Support the GoFundMe page: House adaptation and medical expenses for my mam

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