Holiday wish for a special little girl

By Lynley Bilby

Kathleen McKay lies with her terminally ill daughter, Brennagh, in Wellington Hospital. Photo / Getty Images
Kathleen McKay lies with her terminally ill daughter, Brennagh, in Wellington Hospital. Photo / Getty Images

She fights every day to stay alive but now little Brennagh McKay has a boxer on her side - going 100 rounds - as a community rallies to make a mother's wish for her dying daughter come true.

Feilding trainer Ricky Bushell will put his body on the line for more than six hours of consecutive sparring to send mum-of-five Kathleen McKay and her only daughter to Rarotonga on holiday before she is too unwell to travel.

The 7-year-old was born with the terminal illness Trisomy 18, or Edward Syndrome, and has always needed to be fed through a tube.

This week she will undergo lifesaving surgery at Wellington Hospital, the third major operation on her stomach in two months. "She's fighting every step of the way," said Kathleen.

Previous surgeries left the brave tot close to death's door and feeding through a tube in her neck.

But it's a promise made as a frail Brennagh lay hooked up to a life support machine last month that has captured the hearts of people in their home town.

"The doctors said she wouldn't make it through the night. I promised her I would take her on a girls' trip to Rarotonga."

Bushell said he was delighted to play his part. Brennagh's carer, Jackie Signal, who started a Facebook fundraising page and turned to an internet appeal website, has been overwhelmed by the $2,000 raised, saying: "No one knows how long she has left so to go for a holiday will be really special."

The sponsored fundraiser fight will take place on October 12 and entry is by gold coin.

- Herald on Sunday

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