BY Rose Barrett
A Dublin based family appeal to the public to help get their son Jonathan to the US for life saving surgery and treatment.
For parents Agnes and Andy Lach who live in Clonee, D 15, it is heart-breaking to see their three year old little boy struggle to move around and play as he’d like to.
“Jonathan has hemiplegia and cerebral palsy; he just wants to walk and play with his older sisters, Sarah (11) and Sophie (6),” said Agnes. “They are so good to him, and he loves to play with his tractors, diggers – anything with wheels!”
However, all of Jonathan’s development is delayed.
“Jonathan was born prematurely just past 27 weeks,” said Agnes. “Sadly, his identical twin Daniel died in utero shortly before delivery. Both babies were affected by twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. As a result of this, Jonathan suffered hypoxia.
“The right side of his body is affected by spasticity; he cannot walk independently, as he is not able to balance his body. He was three on July 2 but looks about two years old.
“He had major feeding issues which only improved in the last year. His speech too is slow but he has a few words coming now.”
Andy is the sole family earner, as Jonathan needs 24-hour care from Agnes. But just a few days before his third birthday, the Lach family received the wonderful news that Jonathan was accepted for Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy in the US.
Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) is a life changing surgery not available in Ireland.
The procedure is used to eliminate spasticity (muscle stiffness) in some children with cerebral palsy. This life changing SDR surgery is available at a children’s hospital in St Louis, US, with the renowned neuro surgeon, Dr TS Park.
However, it comes at a hefty price.
“We cannot afford all the costs,” said Agnes. “It will cost about €100,000 in total, to pay for the surgery, post-op treatment, flights, accommodation, etc. We could not possibly afford all that for Jonathan now and he needs it as his development is so delayed.
“Already, there is some damage to his pelvis which is causing balance problems. We just want to see our bright little boy walk, and play like a normal child.”
Agnes and Andy thanked all who’ve donated to date and to all who’ve supported them with Jonathan’s development thus far.
If you’d like to support this life-changing surgery to help a little boy walk, see