THE family of a wheelchair-bound girl has issued an appeal for short term accommodation in the Limerick area to help her undergo treatment aimed at getting her on her feet.
Kila Mahoney, 3, from County Wexford, was born with spina bifida and is confined to a wheelchair.
But mum Ciara is hopeful that a regime of treatment at the First Step Therapy Centre in Patrickswell will help her walk with a frame by the end of June and take her first unassisted steps within two years.
The clinic is headed up by physiotherapist Senthil Periyasamy and is the only place in the republic where children can avail of the spider cage intervention. This is not funded by the HSE and Kila’s family estimates they will have to raise €30,000 over the next two years to meet treatment, accommodation and travel costs.
An intensive three weeks of therapy is due to begin on May 5 and the family is looking to rent a place in the Limerick area from that date to May 23.
The family has been unsuccessful to date in getting a short-term lease on a suitable property, which Ciara explained needed to be wheelchair accessible and dog-friendly.
Ciara, Kila, her brother Dylan and the family’s three dogs are appealing to anybody in the Limerick area who can accommodate them.
“The dogs are family pets and she spends a lot of time with them. She has learned to crawl in the last while so she spends a lot of time on the floor and I will find her lying with her head on one of the dogs watching TV or playing with her toys. She loves to be around them and they are very comfortable around her so it would be such an upheaval to move her away from home that I would hate for her not to have them to come home to,” explained Ciara.
Despite having had two major operations within the first week of life and regular trips to Temple Street Hospital ever since, Kila was “happy and outgoing and just a really sweet little girl.”
More information is available on the Facebook page, Kila’s First Steps, while people interested in making a donation can visit the website (http://kilasfirststeps.com/).