ELLEN Hynes is just 10 months old but already she has had more than her 15 minutes of fame, having joined forces with RTE’s Miriam O’Callaghan to become a poster girl for the annual Trick or Treat for Temple Street Children’s Hospital appeal.
And next week, Ellen, along with her parents Maria and Martin, brother Hugh and the large, extended Hynes and Mulvihill families from Glin, will hold their very own Hallowe’en Party to help raise the €200,000 Temple Street is hoping for from the appeal.
“They were so good to us while we were there, you would do anything to help out,” Maria Hynes told the Leader this week.
And she urged other families to send away for their party pack and hold their own Tirck or Treat party for the hospital.
Ellen’s first encounter with Temple Street took place shortly after she was born in the maternity hospital in Limerick last December.
Ellen was diagnosed with a cleft palate and was seen about a week later by a surgeon, the cleft palate specialist nurse and a speech therapist at Temple Street Children’s Hospital.
“They gave us great support and assurances,” Maria said.
But Ellen had to wait until she was nine months old before the surgery to correct her palate could take place, again at Temple Street.
And that too, was made very easy by all the staff, according to Maria. She and Ellen were back home in Glin just four days after her first admission in September.
Now Ellen is forging ahead. “She is a very lively child. She is crawling and babbling all the time,” her mother said.
During the photo-shoot for this year’s Trick or Treat Appeal, Ellen was photographed along with Noah Ferguson from Spencer Dock in Dublin.
Noah and Ellen occupied side-by-side cots in the ward, Maria explained but the big coincidence was that Noah’s grand-dad was also a Glin man.
This year, the money raised from ‘Trick or Treat for Temple Street’ will help fund the building of a new neurology unit.
The doctors and nurses in this unit care for some of the hospital’s most vulnerable patients suffering from complex disorders such as epilepsy, cerebral palsy and brain tumours.
With out-of-date facilities and patient numbers increasing rapidly the hospital urgently needs help, a spokeswoman told the Leader.
“The hospital has a very special place in my heart and I am delighted to be an ambassador for Trick or Treat for Temple Street – let’s get this party started!” Miriam O’Callaghan said.
If you want to help Trick or Treat for Temple Street, go to [http://www.templestreet.ie|templestreet.ie} and register to hold a party.