Local family raise funds for asthma charity

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A LISBURN family have raised funds for Asthma UK, a cause close to their hearts, despite a member of the family being in intensive care during the summer.

The McMillan family - mum Jennifer, dad Brian and sisters Nicola and Lynsey - had set themselves a target of raising £3,000 in June, having witnessed the effects of asthma upon their daughter and sister Rachel, who has chronic asthma.

However, the family faced a terrible ordeal which began on their holiday to Turkey at the end of June, meaning that several of their planned fundraising events had to be cancelled. They did, however. manage to raise a fantastic £548.02 for Asthma UK, which they presented to the charity recently.

Lynsey explained: “Previously we had organised three events, bag packing, a charity night and skydive for the charity. Unfortunately, due to Rachel falling ill we had to cancel both the charity night and skydive.”

The family held their charity bag pack in Sainsburys, Sprucefield on June 2, and quickly began to arrange the remaining events.

However, they took a family holiday to Turkey at the end of June, where Rachel’s nightmare began.

Rachel said: “I took a seizure when we were on holiday. It cost £1,900 to get me out of hospital, which my family had to find, and I was only in overnight.”

Upon her return home, Rachel took another seizure, which left her in intensive care.

Lynsey added: “We returned home on July 2, on July 3 Rachel had an appointment at the Mater hospital for what we thought was a check up with her asthma, which turned into Rachel taking a seizure and ending up in intensive care. A day we hope will never happen again.

“Rachel spent eight days in ICU on a ventilator before being moved into a high dependency unit then onto a Neurology ward to recover.

“Rachel spent three weeks overall in hospital to recover and further tests were done to see why she had the seizures, so we decided as a family to cancel the rest of the events as we needed to be there for Rachel, which we hope that everyone will understand.”

Rachel has since had a number of tests and is currently on epilepsy medication.

Lynsey concluded: “We met with Deborah recently from Asthma UK Northern Ireland to hand over the cheque of £548.02, which will go towards further research to find cures for Asthma. We would just like to say a big thank you to Sainsburys Sprucefield and anyone that has helped out.”

Rachel added: “Hopefully next year when I’m a lot better we can try again to raise funds for Asthma UK.”