Co Fermanagh woman pens children’s book ahead of husband’s double lung transplant

A Co Fermanagh woman has penned a new children’s book as a fundraiser for a charity which has supported her husband, who needs a double lung transplant due to pulmonary fibrosis.

Clare Donohoe’s husband Tom was hit with the news that he was living with the lung disease five years ago. The family has received considerable support from Pulmonary Fibrosis NI, the primary charity helping those with the illness in Northern Ireland.

Clare has fundraised tirelessly for the charity for a number of years, with her latest fundraiser seeing her picking up the pen for ‘Pete the Puffling’s Brave Adventure.’

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“Pulmonary Fibrosis is something that five years ago, our family had never heard of, until Tom my husband, at age 43, received a diagnosis. There was no help out there. We were handed a leaflet and sent home,” Clare said.

“Our daughter Hannah was 14, and our son Ryan was 6. I am truly blessed to have found, and been welcomed with open arms, by this amazing group of people, at Pulmonary Fibrosis NI, who unfortunately have been thrust together by the common denominator that is, Pulmonary Fibrosis.

“Together, over the last five years, we have shared our experiences, we have laughed and cried together and grieved the loss of members. But most of all, I am so very grateful that we have met, and forged lifelong friendships, supporting each other as we all follow our individual journeys through this devastating disease.”

A book launch took place at the Enniskillen Workhouse last weekend to mark the book’s publication, which was attended by a number of special guests, including Fr Brian D’Arcy and eight time GAA All Ireland winner Michael Darragh McAuley. Illustrations for the book were done by local artist Kevin McHugh.

Clare added: “I trust that when you see and read our book, that not only will you be ‘wow’d’ by Kevin’s marvellous illustrations, but its heart-warming tale, that not only teaches children about Pulmonary Fibrosis, but also reinforces how children can have a valuable part to play when serious illness impacts a family, and how the incredible spirit of community, support and togetherness can help carry families through this, or indeed any serious disease.

“The impact that this book will have on families, worldwide, cannot be underestimated. No other book of its kind exists.

“We have big plans for Pete. An audio book is in the pipeline, as well as translation into other languages, as there will no doubt be a demand not only from across Ireland and the UK, but also Europe, China and America. This disease knows no borders or boundaries.”

Clare's book can be purchased online here.

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