€100k raised for Zara’s lifesaving surgery

€100k raised for Zara’s lifesaving surgery


Zara Cronin at her home in Dysert – Photo: Arthur Ellis

A 10-year-old girl from Co Clare is ready to undergo life-saving surgery after almost €100,000 was raised for the procedure which is not available in Ireland or the UK.

The extraordinary generosity of businesses, celebrities, sports people and the wider community of Co. Clare and beyond has raised almost €99,874 for the surgery Zara Cronin from Dysert requires.

Zara was diagnosed earlier this year with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) however a halo brace which she has been wearing has not resolved her condition of C1 dislocation.

Since the fundraising began in June of this year, €99,874 has been lodged to an account specifically for the purpose of Zara’s imminent medical, surgical and post-op care.

Zara’s mother Ann O’Gorman: “I am humbled, overwhelmed and so grateful to each and every person who has contributed in whatever way they did, either financially or by way of practical support. Words simply cannot express my thanks to those who have helped us reach our fundraising target of €100k to give Zara the best possible chance of a relatively normal life.”

Zara and her mum Ann – Photo: Arthur Ellis

The only centre in Europe that can carry out the type of surgery Zara requires is in Spain.

However, arising from some medical concerns following a similar recent unsuccessful surgery, a second opinion is currently being sought from experts at the Chiari Centre of Excellence in Chevy Chase, Maryland, USA.

Meanwhile, at meeting with Minister for Health Simon Harris in Dublin yesterday, Ann O’Gorman was advised by the Minister to go to the European Reference Network, a network of medical professionals, who will decide on the best approach to be taken in the treatment of her daughter Zara.

Photos by Arthur Ellis Photography


Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.