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Cork mother has ten days to raise €35,000 for twins' surgery

With just 10 days to raise money for life changing surgery for her daughters, Audrey Murnane is receiving help from some unexpected places – including an Irish international rugby star.

Zoe and Maya Murnane
Zoe and Maya Murnane
Image: Help Zoe and Maya via Facebook

A CORK MOTHER has been faced with the task of raising nearly €35,000 before 16 December to raise money for vitally-needed medical procedures for her twin daughters.

Audrey Murnane’s daughters Zoe and Maya were born prematurely last June. The fragile newborns were diagnosed with Long Segment Tracheal Stenosis, a condition that causes major blockages to their airways.

At one point, Maya had an airway opening of just 1.1 millimetre. The girls have trouble gaining weight and need to have their airways observed constantly.

The girls, who are the only twins in Ireland to have the condition, have been fed through tubes for the majority of their short lives.

Funding for a non-invasive surgery was not available through the HSE, with Audrey saying that she feels “let down” by the health system in Ireland.


However, Great Ormond Street Hospital in London have offered the family two beds on Christmas Week. There, the girls will have non-invasive surgery carried out to balloon their airways.

The procedure is not available in Ireland and Audrey has been advised to call an ambulance if one of the girls turns blue.


The Great Ormond Street offer comes with a catch, however. The procedures cost over €17,000 each – and the payment deadline is 16 December.

Audrey received the request for payment on Tuesday and got straight to work.

She set up a Facebook page, which has begun to capture the imagination of people far and wide.

Since Tuesday, Audrey has received money, offers of services and help from one unlikely source.

“I was in a hotel in Limerick after a funeral, just after launching the Facebook page when the Munster Rugby team came in.

“It was like a sign from God and I got really upset. Donnacha O’Callaghan came over and sat down, he didn’t know me and didn’t know what was wrong with me, but he sat down with me, went through everything that was wrong and said “right, we’ll do anything and everything we can to help”.”

That chance meeting has led to Munster donating prizes for an online auction that will take place next week.

Munster are not the only ones helping out, however.

“In the first 24 hours, we raised 30 per cent of the target and now we’re at around 43 per cent.”

Audrey says that the response has been huge.

“People are donating from all over the world, people are offering services and help.

It’s amazing to experience the enormity of the support that is out there in Ireland.

“We’re very lucky, thank God, that we’re getting all this help.”

To donate to the fund, click here.

To make a lodgement, money can be transferred to: Ulster Bank Account Number: 19508190, Sort Code; 98-57-55,

To visit the campaign’s Facebook page, click here.

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