In memorium – David Paul Kelly

Hello, my name is Rosemary Mahoney and I would like to share with you a bit of background as to where the money that I have donated, in memory of my only child, David Paul Kelly, came from.

Firstly though, I would like to tell you a little bit about my David.

David was born on the 21st of November, 1984 at 8.45pm and was the sunshine of my life. When he was very young, I knew he was a special boy and he grew up to be a very special man.

Even with his medical problems, David’s wonderful personality always shone through and he never ever complained.

He was very intelligent and had the best sense of humour. He made me laugh every single day of his short life. David was a very popular man and was loved and liked by all who knew him. As testament to that there were in excess of five hundred people at David’s funeral. I was blown away by how many lives my young son had touched.

David and I had a terrific relationship, and were very close. He used to say to me, “Mum, you’re like my best mate and I can tell you anything,” which I took as a compliment and that I had done a good job as a Mum.

It has been over a year now since David passed away. I miss him deeply and my heart will be broken forever.

Now to the background as promised.

David was born with congenital lympoedema, which affected various parts of his body (mainly his left arm and hand, the right side of his face) and a related condition called lymphangectasia, which is very rare and affected his bowel.

David spent the first seven years of his life in and out of hospital for various problems. We nearly lost David a couple of times. He was in the MICA ambulance over 50 times. I stopped counting after 50.

When David was nearly one year old, we were referred to a specialist for his lymphoedema. This specialist said to us that I am going to shoot straight from the hip, there is no cure and David will eventually have to have his arm amputated. You can imagine our shock.

We couldn’t believe that there was nothing that could be done, so I set about trying to find out as much as I could about David’s condition.

I was one of four founding members of a support group which we named the Lymphoedema Association of Victoria. We found out that there was a clinic in Germany that treated lymphoedema, which was so exciting for all of us.

Anyway, to cut this very long story a bit shorter, the Altona community, friends and family started the ‘David Paul Kelly Appeal’ to raise money to send David to Germany to have treatment. They were amazing and raised $60,000. This paid for David and me to go to Germany for 12 weeks of treatment. The money that was left after the trip was used to pay for David’s gloves that he had to wear 24 hours a day for the rest of his life.

The appeal committee obviously invested David’s appeal money wisely of which I am sure the Amber Community is very appreciative.

I would like to say that I am very grateful to the Amber Community for their existence.

At this point I would especially like to thank Lynne, because I am sure that I would not be where I am today if not for her. You have been my salvation. Thank you, Lynne.