Keady will come to a standstill tomorrow as the town prepares to say goodbye to brave and inspirational Eva Tomney, who passed away at the weekend.
The seven-year-old stole the hearts of everyone she met and there was a huge outpouring of support for the ‘Eva’s Journey Back to Walking’ appeal.
But Eva, sadly, who had battled ill health for most of her young life, tragically lost that fight on Saturday, leaving her devoted family and friends devastated.
Eva, from Keady, was born in November 2008, but, when she was three years of age, and looking forward to starting playschool, she complained of a sore neck and was showing signs of losing her balance.
She underwent a series of co-ordination tests and was sent to Craigavon for an MRI and then on to the Royal Victoria Children’s Hospital. The MRI, in October, 2012, revealed a brain tumour. The cancer had spread into the little girl’s spine and she spent nine months undergoing chemotherapy, two daily doses of radiotherapy over a five week period and two stem cell transplants.
Eva got out of hospital on June 3, 2013, and amazed everyone with her vitality. The family were delighted with how she had responded to the treatment. But just two months later her body began to slow down, doctors saying it was as a result of the high levels of toxicity from the chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Confined then to a wheelchair, in August the family turned to the iCare Wish charity at Milford, in a bid to raise money to buy specialist equipment to help Eva walk.
The community took Eva’s Journey Back to Walking to their hearts and a host of fundraisers followed, including a fun run and walk around the family’s home town of Keady.
Thousands of pounds had been raised in a relatively short space of time.
But tragically, Eva passed away on Saturday, plunging her family and an entire local community into mourning.
Eva, darling daughter of Kellie and Paddy, and sister to Paddy, will be laid to rest tomorrow (Wednesday).
The funeral will leave the home of her grandparents, Brendan and Geraldine Toal, at Fairgreen Estate, to arrive at Newry Christian Centre for prayers, before returning to St Patrick’s Church in Keady for 1pm Funeral Mass.
Burial will follow afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.
Our deepest sympathy go out to Eva’s entire family circle, parents, brother, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, as well as many friends, at this tragic time.
May she Rest in Peace.