THE FAMILY of a “one-of-a-kind” little girl who tragically died after a hole in her heart went undiagnosed at University Hospital Limerick has set up an annual fundraiser for the hospital in her memory.
Aimee Keogh, from Old Singland Road, died aged two as a result of medical negligence in July 2014, after medical personnel at UHL failed to properly diagnose her congenital heart defect.
Now in an amazing gesture of strength, her family, mum and dad Deirdre and James and brothers Luke and Ben, have set up an annual fundraiser to “keep Aimee’s memory alive” while also helping to prevent another family from going through their own heartbreak.
“I felt like Aimee (pictured below) was being forgotten about so I wanted to do something in memory of her,” Deirdre Keogh told the Limerick Leader.
“There is another child going to go out to the hospital with Aimee’s symptoms. I wanted to do something to help prevent it happening another child, that is my mission.
“I want to make a difference,” she added. “I know she died because of the fault of someone, but I still want to put (the funds) in there.”
“In my way, I’m not giving it to UHL, I am helping children out there.
“God forbid, if my little boy had to go out there in the morning, they would still be there for him but they weren’t for Aimee, which was tragic, that’s why she died.
“I suffered for years myself. I wouldn’t go outside the door, but now I’m looking on the positive side, I’m saying let’s do this for her. She had a very positive attitude.
“Aimee was a lovely bubbly character. She was one of a kind really. Very, very funny and very, very friendly. A fantastic daughter, loved her style, loved her shopping.
“She was amazing. She never gave us an ounce of bother. Unfortunately, she’s not here and this will be her legacy now, trying to help other children.
“She was always very strong minded and I think she got that from me. I have great family, great friends and great support, and that is what is pushing me, and my husband James is fantastic.”
Last Saturday, the Aimee Keogh Memorial Rugby Blitz took place at Richmond RFC, with players from Young Munsters, Richmond, St Mary’s and Thomond taking part.
“It was just amazing so it’s something we are hoping to do every year and hopefully it will get bigger and better every year,” Deirdre said.
“This is the first time we’ve ever done this but it’s going to be a yearly ongoing thing. Everyone contributed, people sold tickets, we were given spot prizes.
“My own little boy Luke is with Richmond. He actually got player of the day at the tournament so he is delighted with himself.”
Deirdre estimates that a collection from the poignant event has reached her fundraising target, however an official tally has yet to be taken.
The family has had discussions with UHL and are hopeful their donation might go towards an ECG machine or resus trolleys with plaques on the side.
“It’s a help, every little thing helps. Every year it will go into something new, like the playroom. We are hoping to put it into what they need.”
In 2018, the HSE offered an unreserved apology to Deirdre and James Keogh and their family for the “hurt, stress and upset” which was caused by Aimee’s death.