The mother of a young Donegal man who is facing a potentially life-saving operation later this month has said the high-risk procedure is his only hope.
Jason Hanlon, who suffers from a severe intellectual disability, is due to be operated on in Dublin for scoliosis, a genetic disorder that causes curvature of the spine.
His mother Elizabeth has thanked the local community for what she has described as overwhelming support.
Since last October Jason’s condition has deteriorated.
In March it was decided that the solution was a major operation to attempt to realign the curvature of his spine.
The operation was delayed this summer and after being told again in September that it was being put back, the Dungloe family have a date for Jason’s surgery after highlighting his case in the media and with politicians.
The operation, which is due to take place at Tallaght Hospital on November 27, is high-risk but Jason’s mother Elizabeth said the operation is her son’s only hope.
The mother of nine says without the operation Jason’s condition will deteriorate and he runs the risk of losing his life to infections or pneumonia.
“If I leave him he could die too of a cruel death. We feel as a family that we have no other choice but to try and go ahead with this.
“The family have all spoken to us and they feel that we have no choice - we have to try for Jason. We can’t let him die that cruel death. This operation is his only hope.
“We are trying to keep him as good as we can. He is happy most of the time.”
A fundraising campaign has been launched in Dungloe and the wider area under a local committee.
“All the people out there from Dungloe, Doochary, Leitirmacaward and all over the world - Australia, America. I couldn’t describe it.”
A Go Fund Me page has raised over €7,000 out of a target of €10,000 to date and local events including a concert in the Waterfront Hotel in Dungloe on November 23 have also been organised.
Irish football captain Seamus Coleman has donated a pair of signed football boots to be raffled.
The fundraising is to support Jason and help with the cost of renovations the family home will need when he returns home after his operation. It will also help support family members to stay in Dublin during Jason’s recovery.
Elizabeth thanked the fundraising committee, Jason’s whole family and everyone who has helped in the recent months for their support.
“Without the help of all these people I don’t think me and Jason would be where we are today, she said.
“The love that surrounds Jason, the doctor said in Dublin, is just unreal.
“He said it just shows on him, on his face. And that is to everyone out there right around the world. The love they have shown to me is unbelievable.”