Limerick's Sarah, 12, loses her fight for life

Aine Fitzgerald


Aine Fitzgerald

Limerick's Sarah, 12, loses her fight for life

Sarah Crowe pictured on the day of her First Holy Communion

A YOUNG girl who could light up a room with her beautiful, big blue eyes took her last breath at lunchtime on Tuesday with her loving family by her side.

After a long and dignified battle with the extremely rare condition, Alpers, Sarah Crowe passed away at her home in Treada na Rí, Kilfinane in the presence of her parents, David and Mary and brother Jimmy. Sarah was 12 years of age.

When she was born Sarah was a perfectly healthy baby. The syndrome didn’t present itself until Sarah was 18 months old.

Alpers is a progressive, degenerative disease of the central nervous system that occurs mostly in infants and children.

Doctors told David and Mary that nothing could be done.

“When they tell you there is nothing, zero, it’s heart-breaking,” David told the Limerick Leader back in December 2011, cradling his precious little girl in his arms at the kitchen table of their Kilfinane home.

At the time, David wasn't sure if his only daughter would see Christmas.

“They more or less told us that there wasn’t any more they could do - it was more a case of trying to keep her happy,” said  David who was Sarah’s full time carer. He wouldn’t have it any other way.

Two weeks prior to the Leader visiting Sarah at her home, the little girl celebrated her First Holy Communion. There were fears that spring might come too late for the little girl with the big blue eyes.

Thankfully, Sarah did see spring. Indeed she went on to enjoy four more years at Scoil Fhionain national school where she was “treated like a superstar”.

“She always had the biggest eyes. I remember as a baby if we went anywhere, people would be looking at her and they would come up to us and say: ‘her eyes are beautiful,’” David recalled.

Sarah was an ambassador for Cliona’s Foundation and attended many of their events over the years.

In a tribute this week, the charity which provides financial assistance to families with critically and terminally ill children said: “Sarah was a fantastic ambassador for Cliona’s Foundation and featured many times over the years on our website, Facebook page, at several of our fundraising events and in numerous newspaper and magazine articles. Our deepest condolences to her wonderful parents David and Mary and her devoted brother Jimmy, with love, Terry, Brendan and all involved in Cliona’s Foundation xx”.

Sarah Crowe is survived by her parents Mary and David, brother Jimmy, grandparents, aunts, uncles, extended family and a large circle of friends.

A liturgical service takes place this Thursday at 11am at St Andrew's Church, Kilfinane with burial afterwards in the local cemetery. Family flowers only, donations if desired to Sophie's Foundation and Ian's Trust.