Don Briggs with grandson Flynn
Don Briggs with grandson Flynn

A Stepaside man, who was inspired to write a children’s book after his grandson was struck with a serious illness, has raised €30,000 for Temple Street.

Written by Don Briggs and illustrated by Naomi Peppard, The Return of the Dragon is about a boy’s pet dragon who escapes from the garden shed and his family go on an adventure to search for the missing dragon.

Don (66) wrote the book when his eight-month-old grandson Flynn received multiple viral respiratory infections during Christmas 2016 and was rushed to intensive care.

Don told Dublin Gazette it was a very “scary” time for the family.

“My son and daughter in law brought him to Tallaght. They took one look at him and transferred him immediately by ambulance to Temple Street.

“He went straight on to a ventilator in intensive care for five days. It was a very scary time.

“Antibiotics weren’t helping. His oxygen levels were down to about 30-40% of what they should be.”

Thankfully Flynn pulled through and Don said his now two-year-old grandson is “flying”.

“He’s as bumptious and boisterous and devilish and as twinkle in the eye-ish as you can get!

“We keep half an eye on him with chesty coughs, but he’s two and a bit now. He’s flying. He’s in great nick. He’s wonderful.”

All of the proceeds of the book go to support The Temple Street Foundation.

Fundraising hit the 30k mark last Friday and Don said he is thrilled!

“I feel really chuffed. It’s great to be able to give something back.”

The Return of the Dragon is available for €10 at outlets including Irish Design Gallery Dun Laoghaire, Design Loft Powerscourt, Village Books and Paraphernalia in Greystones, Creation Room at Fishers Newtownmountkennedy, Beechlawn Medical Centre Monkstown, Brophy Opticians Stillorgan, Jane Carroll Designs in Blackrock and Newsrail in Ballyogan and Cabinteely.

The book can also be ordered through Don directly by emailing donbriggs@eircom.net and also from the Temple Street Foundation.

Don will be at The Boatyard in Greystones all day this Sunday, December 2, signing the book.