Boston Irish community fights for seriously ill Irish toddler Sergio O’Connor

The O'Connor family pictured during one of Sergio's rare visits home

On May 20, The Burren in Somerville will be hosting an incredible event in honor of a remarkable young boy. Born March 5, 2011, Sergio O’Connor is one half of a set of beautiful twin boys. While his brother, Tadgh, was born with perfect health, Sergio suffers from oesophageal atresia, or a gap in between his oesophagus and his stomach.

This extremely rare birth defect prevents him from eating, drinking or swallowing, and has left him hooked up to a series of complex tubes at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin, Co. Dublin.

While the first year has been a struggle, Sergio’s parents, Donal and Rosa O’Connor, are hoping that a groundbreaking procedure in Boston will allow his oesophagus to be repaired. With the blessing of Ireland’s Health Service, Sergio arrived in Boston on a government jet, and currently rests at the Boston University Children’s Hospital.

"We have been hoping for along time for this day when Sergio would be on his way to Boston and it has finally come,” said Sergio’s father, Donal. “We are sincerely grateful to everyone who has helped us so far. The support we have received from neighbors, friends and so many sources has been overwhelming,"

With the procedure set to cost upwards of $131,000, Irish communities have banded together in support of this brave and smiling young boy and his family. For The Burren’s owners, Tommy McCarthy and Louise Costello, themselves traditional Irish musicians, the chance to put together a genuinely wonderful day was very exciting.

By offering a day of fundraising, food and fun, they have stepped up to the plate as one of the leading supporters of Sergio’s cause. Featuring traditional Irish music, raffle prizes and a complimentary buffet, The Burren hopes that anybody interested in helping out will attend.

If you cannot attend the event, you can donate online at helpsergio.com, or make cheques payable to “Sergio O’Connor Fundraiser” and mail them to: The Burren, Attn: Teresa, 247 Elm St., Somerville02144.For more information about the days festivities, visit www.burren.com, or call Tommy McCarthy with The Burren Fundraising Team at 617-776-6896.

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