Caring Athea parents seek financial support for their young son

A young West Limerick couple are making progress towards their modest goal of €10,000 to support ongoing professional health care for their young child.
Joseph and Donna O’Loughlin, who relocated from Limerick city to Athea, are seeking financial support to help meet the expensive private medical costs of their son Caleb, aged just 16 months, who is in need of 24/7 care owing to scoliosis, or curvature of the spine, and other possible issues such as Spina Bifida Occulta and Tethered Cord Syndrome.
Explained Donna: “Caleb is a beautiful boy. He has scoliosis and will need surgery every six months for the next few years where he will be put in plaster casts and these will slow down his development. Then he will be given spinal rods. He is also being investigated for Tethered Cord Syndrome and Spina Bifida Occulta. Caleb has developmental delay and red flags for autism, and is on lengthy waiting lists for all treatments and tests; Caleb can’t stand unsupported or walk. He can’t communicate either. Caleb is in pain every day.”
She continued: “We have used all our savings to get him this far. All Caleb’s appointments are private, as the public waiting list is ridiculous. Caleb needs multiple assessments going forward as well as intervention. Again, these all have to be paid for privately. We are doing our best but it’s becoming impossible as the cost of appointments is all adding up as well as treatments and he also needs a new buggy that will support his spine. He is allergic to dairy and his diet is very expensive. I appreciate any support at all to help Caleb as he needs serious intervention and care.”
If you wish to support Caleb, please visit:, and there is also a Facebook page chronicling Caleb’s journey.
Separately, Cliona’s Foundation has appointed Charlotte Kavanagh as Partnerships and Engagement Manager. The Foundation, a national charity based in Limerick, provides financial assistance directly to parents of children with life-limiting or chronic complex care needs to help with the non-medical expenses related to caring for their child.
Cliona’s Foundation was established by Brendan and Terry Ring of Bruff, following the death of their daughter Cliona from an inoperable brain tumour in 2006, aged 16.