Thursday, November 29, 2018

THE community of Ballinabranna is rallying round a local family after their beautiful little baby was seriously injured in a car accident, which has left her paralysed in Temple Street Children’s Hospital.

Fourteen-month-old Amira O’Toole Rauf was seriously injured when the car that driven by her mother Karoline was crashed into at Simmons Mill Cross between Stradbally and Arles on Tuesday 6 November.

The driver of the other vehicle, a man in his 40s, died in the crash, which left baby “Princess” Amira paralysed and fighting for her life.

Her heartbroken parents Karoline and Adnan haven’t left her bedside at the children’s hospital, while her older brother, seven-year-old Rhys, is also trying to cope with the terrible event.

As news spread about the horrific accident and its terrible consequence, Karoline thanked the public on social media for their thoughts and prayers as the baby struggled for survival.

She appealed to people to keep her “Princess warrior” in their thoughts and prayers, adding: “We have no words to express our appreciation” for the support she and Adnan have received from their communities in Ballinbranna and in Ballyroe, Athy, where Karoline is from.

Her best friend and neighbour Donna Purcell has set up a gofundme page for “Princess Amira” in a bid to raise funds to help the family cope with the financial burden. So far, €6,000 has been raised in 11 days and the campaign is being supported by Little Buddies, the crèche which Amira attended.

We’re all heartbroken. Her parents are heartbroken, the village is heartbroken, we’re heartbroken,” Patty Amond, owner of Little Buddies, told The Nationalist as she gave details about a pyjama day the crèche is hosting on Friday.

The campaign is called Princess Amira because that’s what her dad calls her,” Patty continued. “He used to say, ‘here’s Princess Amira’, when he brought her in every morning. The girls here are heartbroken, they took care of her. They love her; it’s like a family here. You get so attached to the children … Amira is part of us here. Even the little ones are looking for her and keep asking for her.”

This time of the year, it really brings it all home as to how lucky we are to have our children. You never know what’s going to happen when you step outside your door or get into your car. It makes you appreciate what you have, doesn’t it? But Amira’s such a strong-willed little girl, maybe that’s why she’s fighting so hard. We just want her back and we want everyone to help her parents get her back and to donate to the Princess Amira gofundmepage,” concluded Patty.

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By Elizabeth Lee
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