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Tractor calendar girls being launched as fundraiser for local boy

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Tractor calendar girls being launched as fundraiser for local boy thumbnailPictured is Billy Goulding with one of his beloved tractors. There will be launch night for the 'Tractor Calendar Girls' calendar in aid of the Billy Goulding Fund on Friday, July 14 next in Racket Hall Hotel, Roscrea.

PEOPLE are being asked to come along and support the forthcoming launch of 'The Tractor Calendar Girls', in aid of local boy Billy Goulding, next month.
The fundraising event is part of the ongoing efforts by Billy's family and friends to help the local five year old to have the best chance at improving his quality of life after he was left paralysed from the chin down after contracting a virus at just two years of age.
The 'Tractor Calender Girls' launch will take place on Friday, July 14 next at 9pm in the Racket Hall Hotel, Roscrea. The calendar will be launched by Miss Ireland, Niamh Kennedy, and will also feature Billy's recovery story, the specially penned song 'One Day' by local musician Martin Bennett as well as food and music on the night.
Three years ago, Billy was playing in the back garden with his cousin and older sister when he suddenly collapsed. His mum quickly brought him inside when she noticed his face had turned red and he was developing a fever. However, she knew that something was seriously wrong when his arm went limp and his head rolled over to one side. The family called the emergency services and Billy was brought to hospital in Limerick but within in hours, he was paralysed.
The youngster was eventually diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis (TM), which is a neurological disorder caused by inflammation of the spinal cord. Attacks of inflammation can damage or destroy myelin, the fatty insulating substance that covers nerve cell fibres.
Speaking to the Tribune this week, Billy's mum, Eileen said they were only just back from a two week trip to the Stoke Mandeville Hospital in London where Billy receives physical therapy and rehabilitation. The family now travel to the hospital every six months and the costs alone associated with this treatment are enormous.
Talking about Billy's progress, his mum explained that while Billy was making progress at a "snail's pace", it was all "good progress". She told the Tribune they were now able to put a cap on Billy's tracheotomy tube during the day since they came home and he's "now able to breathe on his own" during the day. "He's also able to talk a lot better and his words are coming out a lot better," Eileen enthused.
Eventually, they hope to wean Billy off the breathing machine at night time as well. Currently, Eileen said Billy goes down to bed at 9pm and was being put on the breathing machine. But, this was put out until 10pm, then 11pm, midnight and the family hope to push this back to 1am shortly.
Sadly, Billy still remains without movement from his neck down but this doesn't dampen the little five year old's fantastic spirit and personality and all monies raised from the ongoing fundraising drive are used to cover the cost of equipment for Billy and to help meet his daily needs, according to his mum. And, they are now hoping people will come along on July 14 and lend their support and also enjoy a great night's entertainment.
Tickets are available from Ellie Mai, Roscrea and also on the door on the night at €5. Calendars will be for sale on the night for €10. Organisers are looking forward to your continued support and you can get more details on 'Billy's Recovery Story' on Facebook.

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