A LITTLE Carlow girl who touched the lives of so many during her own short life received a fitting legacy recently with the naming of a family room at Temple Street Hospital in her honour.
Ali Byrne, aged six, from 83 Barrowvale, Graiguecullen died in March 2016, following the development of an extremely rare form of progressive myoclonic epilepsy when she was just 13 months’ old.
Daughter of PJ and Bernadene Byrne, their precious little girl become known as Princess Ali, the inspiration behind a huge fundraising effort locally to ensure her comfort for the remainder of her life and to support the new neurology and renal outpatients departments in Dublin’s Temple Street Hospital.
Knowing their daughter’s time was limited, the Byrne family also created Ali’s Bucket List, a wish list of precious moments to spend together, from sleeping under the stars to surfing.
Ali’s Bucket List created huge awareness of the work of Temple Street and in turn an overwhelming response to their fundraising efforts.
Last week, PJ and Bernadene and Ali’s sisters Elisa and Thea were invited to the official opening of this new €5.5m department, which was funded entirely through donations. The official opening was performed by rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll, an ambassador for Temple Street.
“Ali was involved in the campaign to raise the €5.5million needed to complete the build, so to mark Ali’s contribution to the fundraising campaign, Temple Street, to our absolute shock and surprise, have named the family room after Ali,” explained Bernadene.
“We are so proud and never expected such a wonderful tribute to our sweet girl,” she added.
“Thanks to Temple Street, Ali has left a very special legacy in a wonderful hospital that was a huge part of all our lives and Ali’s,” said Bernadene.
In a post on their Twitter account, Temple Street Hospital said: “We couldn’t possible celebrate the opening of our new outpatient unit without recognising the Byrne family and their beautiful little daughter Ali Byrne, who was a long-term neurology patient in Temple Street. Through their hugely moving Ali’s Bucket List campaign they raised an enormous amount of awareness and funds for this project. We are honoured to name the new neurology parents’ room Ali’s Room in her memory #princessali.”
The new two-floor neurology and renal unit will cater for more than 6,500 patients who attend the hospital for treatment each year.