“There are no words to say how thankful I am”
By Michelle Crean
A Killarney teacher who launched a fundraiser for vital treatment for a debilitating illness says she is "grateful" and "overwhelmed" after it reached over €60k in just 24 hours.
Karin O’Shea (26) said she had “exhausted” all treatments in Ireland and has no option but to get expensive treatment abroad for Lymes disease.
The Kilgarvan native, who had to quit her teaching job in St Brendan’s College due to her illness, thought it might take months to raise just half of the €45,000 amount needed to pay for treatment, flights and accommodation, but is now looking at heading to Germany next month thanks to people's generosity.
Karin has experienced immense damage to her immune and nervous system over the past 12 years including debilitating neurological symptoms, excruciating nerve pain, migraines, head pressure, short term memory loss, episodes of body paralyses and tremors, slurred speech, fainting, loss of balance, extreme exhaustion, insomnia and nausea.
After visits to countless consultants, undergoing X-Rays, scans, MRIs, and hospital admissions, she says she still had no answers.
Her bloods were eventually sent to Germany to test for Lyme’s disease and the results came back positive, and also showed chronic immune suppression.
She attended appointments with Dr Lambert an Infectious Disease Specialist in the Mater Hospital, Dublin, and was put on antibiotics which she said is the only available treatment in Ireland for Lymes.
On her fundraising page she explained that her private health insurance and the Cross Border Scheme could not assist in any of the costs involved as Chronic Lyme disease is not recognised by the Irish State. She said she had "nowhere left to turn" and that "any donation big or small is hugely appreciated".
Now however, the after smashing her initial target, she says that she is hoping to go abroad in a few weeks to begin her treatment.
"I thought it would take months to raise the money," Karin told the Killarney Advertiser. "That was the reality of it, but the financial burden has been taken off me. How is this even real? I didn't sleep looking at the page. I couldn't believe it. There are no words to say how thankful I am."
There's a three week waiting list for the treatment, and safe in the knowledge that the funding is there Karin says she contacted the medical team in Germany to book in.
"I'm waiting for them to get back to me to confirm my treatment. There's about a three week waiting list for it so I'm hoping to go in March."
The main treatment takes four weeks and includes bringing the body into a hypothermic state, she explained.
Then it's six months rehabilitation.
"They induce a fever in ICU. Once the body reaches 42 degrees it kills the Lyme bacteria. There's blood filtering as well as a detox. It's the most intensive treatment in the world as far as I know."
Kerry TD Kerry TD Danny Healy-Rae, who is personal friends with Karin, highlighted her plight in the Dáil on Wednesday, calling for the need for early diagnosis and treatment for Lymes disease.
Karin, who is also very thankful for the support of her partner AJ Christian and close family and friends, hopes to be back teaching once fully recovered.
To donate go to Karin’s GoFundMe: ‘Please help Karin get urgent treatment in Germany’.
Benefit-In-Kind tax rules overturned for company cars
By John Healy of Healy Insurances Minister for Finance Michael McGrath has announced a temporary change for company-owned vehicles following a backlash from drivers whose Benefit-In-Kind (BIK) taxes increased substantially […]
By John Healy of Healy Insurances
Minister for Finance Michael McGrath has announced a temporary change for company-owned vehicles following a backlash from drivers whose Benefit-In-Kind (BIK) taxes increased substantially in January.
While the move to a CO2 based Benefit-In-Kind system, which incentivises the use of Electric Vehicles and lower emission cars, a significant number of employees with vehicles in the typical emissions range experienced large increases in their income tax liabilities since the start of 2023.
To address the issue, the Finance Minister has introduced a relief of €10,000 to be applied to the Original Market Value (OMV) of cars in Category A-D in order to reduce the amount of Benefit-In-Kind payable (this is not applicable to cars in Category E).
In effect, this means that, for the purposes of calculating BIK liability, employers may reduce the OMV by €10,000. This treatment will also apply to all vans and electric vehicles. For electric vehicles, the OMV deduction of €10,000 will be in addition to the existing relief of €35,000 that is currently available for EVs, meaning that the total relief for 2023 will be €45,000.
The upper limit in the highest mileage band is amended by way of a 4,000km reduction, so that the highest mileage band is now entered into at 48,001km.
These temporary measures will be retrospectively applied from 1 January 2023 and will remain in place until 31 December 2023. It is proposed to introduce the measures at Committee Stage of the Finance Bill 2023.
From an insurance perspective, if a vehicle is owned by a company then the motor policy in place must be in the company name and have full business use cover known as Class 2 cover. It is customary that the policy is on an open driving basis, usually aged 25 to 70. The cost for a company owned car policy can be higher than privately owned vehicles.
Reduce the stress of downsizing
By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY It is widely accepted that moving house is one of THE most stressful life events one will experience, but does it really need […]
By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY
It is widely accepted that moving house is one of THE most stressful life events one will experience, but does it really need to be?
Embrace the change and look forward to new beginnings.
One particular cohort of home movers are those downsizing from their larger family homes, perhaps to a more manageable property with little/less maintenance. Here we look at potential ways of reducing the stress involved when downsizing:
Start the process as early as possible. Putting it off will add to the stress and result in a rushed job that is maybe not thorough enough. You only want to bring items you LOVE, NEED, USE and have SPACE for to your new property. Use this time as an opportunity to declutter – be ruthless. This is a fantastic opportunity to put some organisation into your life. Perhaps declutter prior to placing your existing home on the market – it may well add value to your home.
Don’t underestimate how much of a reduction is required pre-move. If the new property you are moving to is 50% smaller, then a quick estimate is that 50% of items in your current home need to be rehoused elsewhere.
Have an exit plan for the items leaving your home. Where are your local charity shops, do they offer a collection service? Is a skip required? A carefully planned exit strategy will make the move a lot more seemless. Have detailed measurements of your new home so you know which larger furniture items will/will not fit in your new property.
Take your time and do not try to do multiple areas simultaneously. Perhaps take it room by room and set yourself realistic targets.
Most importantly don’t panic. Allow yourself sufficient time, have a well-planned system in place and do not be reluctant to ask for help. Involving family members and relatives in the move will make the whole process a lot easier.
Benefit-In-Kind tax rules overturned for company cars
By John Healy of Healy Insurances Minister for Finance Michael McGrath has announced a temporary change for company-owned vehicles following...
Reduce the stress of downsizing
By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY It is widely accepted that moving house is one of THE most stressful...
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