Dying Polish woman flies home after public appeal

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

A POLISH woman who is dying from leukemia received her final wish this week, after donations from the public allowed her to fly home to Poland.

A POLISH woman who is dying from leukemia received her final wish this week, after donations from the public allowed her to fly home to Poland.

Marta Salacka, 27, a mum of a four year-old son, needed €20,000 to fly home to Poland on an air ambulance, as she was not permitted to travel on routine flights because of her condition.

The young woman, who hails from Gorzow Wielkopolski, near the German border, wanted to be at home with all her family in her final days.

There was emotional scenes in Limerick as she and her family bid farewell to their close friends, whom they have known for the past seven years.

Marta, her son Nikodem and husband Mariusz, flew from Weston executive airport in Leixlip, County Kildare at 9.20am this Wednesday, reaching Szczecin in Poland by lunch-time.

A massive public appeal saw kind-hearted people from across the world give double that amount to the Castleconnell resident.

The Polish Ambassador to Ireland, His Excellency Mr. Marcin Nawrot said the number of people who donated funds to help her was “overwhelming”, and “surprising” in the current economic climate.

Fundraisers and collections were held in Castleconnell and the city, with donations coming from people in England, Austria, Poland, Germany, Holland, the United States and Australia.

Her friends are still praying for a “miracle” and hope that she will make a recovery, despite being told by doctors that she has just weeks to live.

She was diagnosed with two forms of leukemia, a cancer of the blood, in March and was believed to be making a good recovery, after several rounds of chemotherapy, until she received the results of her latest scan in recent weeks.

“She is so grateful [for the donations], there are no words to explain how she feels. But all she wants is her health and we are all still praying for a miracle. She is praying a lot and everyone is praying for her. Her family is fighting for her, and we don’t want to give up. Hope dies last,” said her friend Monika Habrych, who set up an online account for donations.

The appeal was first revealed in the Limerick Leader last week, and later went viral, with thousands of people highlighting her story on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.

Marta had complained to doctors earlier this year about suffering pains in her right shoulder, breast and ribs, but was told she was merely suffering from muscle pains.