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Cobh Edition Launch Website For Courteney Leahy Geasley



10yr Old Courteney Leahy Geasley

After attending a meeting at the Crows Nest last Tuesday evening to discuss ways of fundraising a much needed €15,000 in six weeks for Courteney Leahy Geasley, we are today, pleased to announce the launch of the official ‘Help Courteney Leahy Geasley’ website. We sincerely hope that Courteney’s family are supported in their efforts to rasie the amount which will go toward getting Courteney to The Children’s Hospital in Graz, Austria where she will hopefully learn to eat. Fundraising in Cobh has always been well supported and we would ask Community members to dig deep and donate where you see collections and or, attend some of the fundraising events that have scheduled to take place in the Town over the next six weeks. As of penning, collections are taking place outside local supermarkets SuperValu and Centra and this will continue on Friday 5th Fed outside of SuperValu and Keating’s Londis,so if you’re out for a bit of shopping keep Courteney in you thoughts and drop a few shillings into the buckets.

Other events arrange are an 80’s themed night at the Cobh Ramblers FC clubhouse on friday 5th March and on St.Patrick’s Day another big fundraise takes place at Jack Doyles bar. You can view and keep up to date with all events on Courteney’s website at

Read Courteney’s Story:

Meet 10 year old Courteney Leahy Geasley. She may look like any other 10 year old in the photo but Courteney suffers from Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome which is also known as 22q11.2 Syndrome (ie) part of the 22nd chromosome is missing.  There are many medical conditions caused due to this including: Cardiovascular Defects, Feeding Difficulties, Gastrointestinal Problems, Immune System Problems, Growth Problems, Palatal Anomalies, Kidney Differences, Hearing Problems, Low Calcium, Autoimmune Disease, Spine Differences, Cognitive and Speech Delay, Behavioral Differences to name a few.

Courteney spent the first 3 months of her life in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin, followed by 5 months in Cork University Hospital in Cork.  Even after discharge she had frequent hospital stays due to pneumonia because she would aspirate her saliva.  These stays thankfully decreased as she got older and started to swallow her saliva.

Courteney has alot of problems (ie) ear, low immunity, low muscle tone, hormonal problems etc, and is constantly being monitored by her doctors in Cork and Dublin.

Due to great response we received fundraising in 2005 we were able to bring Courteney to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where she had extensive tests carried out. Among others things, they informed us that Courteney has a Vascular Ring (ie) vein coming from her heart, around her windpipe, and back to her heart.  This may need operation as she grows if it tightens.

She has had various operations, including one to prevent reflux (Nissens Funduplication), an operation to insert feeding tube, one to repair a submucous cleft palate and another to make a pharyngeal flap.
Her most severe problem is that she was unable to even swallow her own saliva and had to be suctioned a lot. She also needed a monitor at home as she would stop breathing every few minutes, this eventually stopped.  She had to have a feeding tube inserted and is still being fed this way.  She is in constant pain from the site around the tube which gets sore, acid leaks from her stomach which causes  burning and she has granulomas which bleed.

As she got older she was able to swallow her saliva and now can even have a few spoons of yoghurt etc so we are hopeful that she can learn to eat at The Children’s Hospital in Graz, who have a great reputation for their feeding programme. Other than a word or two she is unable to talk due to palatal palsy but we also hope that down the line this to will be rectified, especially if her muscles get stronger when she learns to eat.

The Group That Have Taken Up The Challenge To Rasie A Much Needed €15,000

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