Limerick charity horse ride to help get treatment for baby Tyler, who is blind

Donal O'Regan

Reporter:

Donal O'Regan

Baby boy: Tyler O’Connell

Baby boy: Tyler O’Connell

TYLER O’Connell, who will turn one later this month, looks the picture of health but sadly was born with a life long illness.  

The bouncing baby boy, son of Elisha and Christian, has been diagnosed with multiply pituitary hormone deficiencies. He requires hormone replacement therapies for the rest of his life. 

Tyler also has septo-optic dysplasia (SOD), a rare congenital malformation syndrome featuring underdevelopment of the optic nerve.

As a result, Tyler, from Caherline, is blind.

His family and friends are fundraising to send Tyler and his parents to China for stem cell treatment. The cost is €60,000 for a 35-day process with eight stem cell treatments. His aunt, Susie Monaghan, set up a Go Fund Me page called Help Tyler get to China.

“Septo-optic dysplasia is curable but only in China through various stem cell treatments. Myself and the rest of Tyler’s family are trying to raise the money to at least help him some way in the future by giving him his eyesight, which can be achieved by going to China to get this treatment.

“So we are hoping that family and friends will help us achieve our goal of €60,000 to cover the cost of the hospital bills. Tyler and his family will be forever grateful. Please help a little boy get his eyesight,” wrote Susie.

Wesley Ryan, of Boskill Equestrian Centre, in Caherconlish, approached the family and asked could he run a fundraiser. The result is a charity ride-out this Sunday, October 7, at 11am. All are welcome to attend or sponsor one of the riders.

Christian O’Connell, Tyler’s dad, thanked Wesley for putting on the event for Tyler. After the horse ride in the locality, he said refreshments will be served in the equestrian centre. Christian says Tyler is a very “happy baby” despite the life altering challenges that have been put in his path.

Patsy, Christian’s mum, said her grandson is a lovely child. 

“He is so happy. He doesn’t know day from night God love him. He is on an awful lot of medication and spends a lot of time in the rainbow ward in University Hospital Limerick.

“He gets great care there. The staff are absolutely brilliant. The very minute they come in Tyler gets a bed,” said Patsy, who wished to thank Wesley Ryan for his kindness in organising Sunday’s event.

“I know Wesley through my daughter – she goes horse riding down there. Wesley came forward and said he would like to help. 

“He is a lovely young fellow. He has put a lot of work in to next Sunday and sold an awful lot of sponsorship cards,” said Patsy.

For more information on the charity horse ride log on to Boskill Equestrian Centre’s Facebook page or to donate please visit www.gofundme.com/help-tyler-get-his-eyesight.