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'fight I had to win...' Irish mammies take down world ambassadors in bid to comfort their sick children during Covid


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Shane with Cathy

Shane with Cathy

Shane McGeough and his mam Cathy

Shane McGeough and his mam Cathy

Kathy Anderson

Kathy Anderson

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Shane with Cathy

Nothing comes between an Irish Mammy and her kids when they need her.

Not even the strictest Covid restrictions in two of the world's largest countries can halt them in their determined bid to comfort a sick child.

And two Irish mothers have driven that lesson home in recent weeks.

Cathy McGeough, from Kells in Co Meath, even went face to face with Gary Grey, the Australian ambassador to Ireland, on RTÉ's Claire Byrne show in a bid to secure a visa to visit her son Shane in Adelaide, where he has been battling a brain tumour and been given a 15-month to three-year life expectancy.

After a month-long struggle that included a 14-day stay in a government approved ­quarantine hostel, our exclusive photo shows she finally made it late last week.

Cathy said: "It was a fight I had to win, Shane's partner Lorraine was hoping her mum Mary could get but she didn't get a visa.

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Shane McGeough and his mam Cathy

Shane McGeough and his mam Cathy

Shane McGeough and his mam Cathy

"Probably the hardest part was being in ­quarantine as I was almost within touching ­distance of him but couldn't even see him.

"He collected me on Thursday of last week and it was just so emotional.

"On a practical level it is great to be able to look after my granddaughter Harlow and allow Lorraine accompany Shane to hospital for his treatment. I have a three-month visa and ­hopefully I can renew it when the time comes."

Meanwhile, in Collooney, Co Sligo, Kathy ­Anderson had to work through dozens of ­documents in a bid to be admitted to the United States to be with her California-based daughter Gail, whose Dutch husband, Martijin de Bruijn, is seriously ill.

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Kathy Anderson

Kathy Anderson

Kathy Anderson

In the end, her efforts were worthwhile as she flies out later today.

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Her daughter Lisa-Marie revealed: "At the moment the US are not allowing EU visitors in, and Mam had a pile of paperwork to go through before they agreed, on compassionate grounds, to allow her to travel.

"She even had to go as far as to get letters from the surgeons in the States detailing how ill Martijin is, and of course all these things take time, and time is something we know he hasn't got much of.

"The medics in the US have told him there is nothing more they can do for the colorectal cancer that he has and have given him until Christmas to live, but after a lot of searching we discovered a clinic in Mexico that may be able to help.

"He has to go to Tijuana, just over the US border - thank God Trump never got round to building that wall - and the treatment is extremely severe.

"He will be in an oxygen chamber three times a day and they then heat his tissue and he undergoes chemotherapy as well.

"He is on a special diet and has lost over four stone already. The whole course takes two years and hopefully he responds well to it," she said.

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