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Killarney optician detects brain tumour in nine-year-old girl

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BRAIN TUMOUR: Nine-year-old Aoise O’Sullivan, pictured with her family, was diagnosed with a brain tumour after local Specsavers optician Thomas Doyle spotted it during an eye examine.

 

A nine-year-old girl underwent potentially lifesaving surgery after her optician at Specsavers Killarney helped to identify signs of a brain tumour. Suffering with headaches and nausea, Aoise O’Sullivan’s mum Ciara began to notice a change in her daughter’s eyes. No longer moving in sync, one also appeared to look slightly different to the other. Wondering if she might be having an issue with her vision, Aoise visited Specsavers for an eye test.

 

During the appointment, using the fundus camera, the optician Thomas Doyle could see that there was some swelling in her optic disc. This coupled with her symptoms was a worry, so Thomas urgently referred Aoise to her GP to request an MRI scan.

[caption id="attachment_36171" align="alignleft" width="430"] DETECTION: Optician Thomas Doyle from Specsavers in Killarney detected the brain tumour.[/caption]

Knowing how concerned her optician Thomas was, Aoise’s mother insisted on get getting a scan that week and after a speedy referral to Tralee, the scan confirmed their worst fear - a brain tumour which was causing a build-up of pressure and fluid in the brain that needed to be treated immediately.

Under the care of the neurological team in Beaumont Hospital, Aoise was scheduled for surgery within days. The tumour was thankfully benign. However, it was in a difficult position that made removal a challenge. The decision was made to leave the mass, but the team were able to relieve the pressure and drain the excess fluid that was building up, blocked by the tumour.

Aoise’s mum Ciara has praised Thomas for his expertise, quick thinking, and insistence in getting her an MRI, which saved her sight.

"Thomas was the calm in a storm," Ciara said. "We never expected to get the news we did and from the moment he suspected something wasn’t right he was patient and calm with us while also ensuring we knew how hard to push for Aoise’s MRI. Thanks to him, giving me that strength, we got the scan and found out what was wrong. Thomas said that we were incredibly lucky to have been proactive about getting Aoise seen to by an optical expert when we noticed a change in her eyes. Thomas said he might see something like this once every four years and the time in which you act is critical."

Thomas says that while Aoise’s experience is not common, it shows how important it is to take a proactive approach to your eye health, even during these difficult times in lockdown.

"What we thought was going to be a normal eye test turned out to be something very different," he says. "Had Aoise’s parents not decided to seek an optician’s advice after seeing the change in her eyes, the result could have been very different. Thanks to her parent’s trust in us as a local optician, we were able to pick this up before it was too late."

Specsavers Killarney remains open for all eye care and hearing needs with strict health and safety measures in place to ensure the safety of customers and staff.

"It’s important that anyone noticing a change in their vision gets it seen to right away. While usually this is down to a change in prescription or from our eyes feeling tired, in other cases it can be something more serious. With people refraining from visiting GPs and hospital A&E departments, please do speak to your local Specsavers experts for anything eye related. Don’t delay," he added.

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Killarney co-drivers to the fore at this weekend

Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship. The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness. On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin. O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian […]

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Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship.

The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness.
On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin.

O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian Pryce, is the current leader of the series while Galvin, who reads pacenotes for fellow Killarney and District Motor Club member, West Cork’s Keith Cronin, is eighth after missing the opening round.

“The element of darkness certainly brings an additional challenge to all the crews, especially since most of us will not have done any night stages for some time, the most recent I did was in 2017 on the Ulster Rally,” Cronin noted.

The route layout reads like an extract from the itinerary of the World Championship counting RAC Rally of the 1980s, featuring familiar locations such as Dalby, Gale Rigg and Langdale, and it will be the Dalby Forest test that opens the competition shortly after 8pm tonight.

Meanwhile, Irish rallying returned last Sunday after the pandemic-enforced lay-off with the ‘Munster Car Club’s Cork 20’.

London-based Listry co-driver Shane Buckley was the best of the local entrants, guiding Daniel Cronin, Keith’s brother, to fifth overall.

Ger Conway and his driver Stephen Wright were just two places and 8.9 seconds behind in another Ford Fiesta RC2. It was Conway’s first taste of a RC2 car since he and Rob Duggan finished second overall on the 2018 Donegal International Rally.

“There is a taste of more after this,” said Ger after a trouble-free day.
Damien Fleming came close to making it four local co-drivers in the top 10. He and his driver Stephen McCann were 11th, just 16.6 off the leader board. They said it took a while to get used to the bumpy Irish tar after a recent trip to the Tour of Flanders in Belgium.

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Education Minister officially opens The Mon’s new classrooms

A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education. Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room […]

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A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education.

Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room and a general-purpose hall.

The project, which was funded by Department of Education along with money raised by the school as part of their ‘THE MON-ster Fundraiser’, was just one of three officially opened new additions to the school along with a special dedication of the school’s hall in honour of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, a past pupil of the school from 1909-1914.

Also, The Most Rev. Ray Browne, Bishop of Kerry, officially opened a three-classroom extension at the school’s present site which was opened in 1958 having moved from its College Street location which was opened in 1838 by the Presentation Brothers.

Former Supreme Court Judge Hugh O’Flaherty and Mrs Pearl Dineen the nephew and niece of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty officiated over the dedicating of the school’s new hall to past pupil, Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, in recognition of his heroic deeds during WWII.

O’Flaherty, who also taught at the school later, became better known for the role he played in World War II while at the Vatican leading over 6,500 prisoners of war, partisans and Jews to freedom to earn him the title of the ‘Vatican Pimpernel’, leading to the 1983 film ‘The Scarlet and the Black’ with Gregory Peck portraying the role of O’Flaherty.

OUTDOOR CLASSROOM

A special outdoor classroom ‘Dotts Garden’, dedicated to the memory of Dorothy (Dott) Hennggler the 2011 Washington DC Rose who died at the family home in Baltimore from a brain tumour, was officially opened by Anne O’Shea (aunt of the late Dorothy), and Àine McMahon (cousin of the late Dorothy and BOM member). The outdoor classroom was beautifully decorated over the summer by artist Katríona Lynch.

Due to COVID restrictions, the main event took place outdoors with staff joined by a small group of pupils selected from each of the classes representing the student body along with members of the school’s Board of Management.

“Your achievements have been remarkable over the last number of months,” Minister of Education, Norma Foley, said today at the official opening.

“It is my wish going forward that the next year in education will be less complicated, less trying and less difficult one. I think school staff are deserving of that. We can put the COVID atmosphere behind us and we are moving positively along. We hope that in a few months we will talk about living in a post-COVID time. The story of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty speaks of the calibre of students produced here, but it also speaks of the courage and bravery and vision that Kerry people can have in the most difficult and trying of times.”

School principal Colm Ó Suilleabháin, who is shortly moving on to St Oliver’s NS in Ballycasheen, was delighted to be in attendance to see the building come to fruition.

“It’s a fantastic culmination of hard work by the staff and the Board of Management, and we are delighted to see the school is fully equipped and resourced for the next generation of pupils from Killarney and beyond,” he said.

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