Brave Séanín ‘battles on’ to complete first year of Masters

May 3, 2016

As the Fight on Campaign for Séanín continues its fundraising drive in order to secure vital surgery in America for the 23 year old Belleek woman, her devoted family have shared their pride at the inspirational determination she has shown to defy the odds once again.

Séanín suffers from a rare and debilitating condition known as Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS).  The progressive and incurable disease affects the skin, joints and muscles causing frequent strokes and seizures as well as affecting vital organs. Having endured countless hospitalisations and  huge medical setbacks since her diagnosis, she now faces fusion stabilisation surgery to treat the cranial instability she has developed which has left her unable to support her head.

The brave young woman has been so ill in recent weeks that she has been unable to leave home, forcing her family to cancel medical appointments.

Despite this, her sister Louise revealed that the determined Masters student “battled on” to sit her exam last Monday morning, marking the completion of the first year of her Masters.

“Séanín studies part time, attending Uni one day a week but with this particularly bad year, she has missed a lot of class and her studies had to take a back seat,” explained Louise.

“A lot of people ask why she puts herself through this, the answer is simple –  it gives Séanín some sort of normality in her life and it has been her focus over the last few years, keeping her going through all of the difficult times.

“To us, Séanín is an absolute inspiration, showing us what can be achieved with determination and willpower. Finding the positivity in all of the darkness over the last few years has not been easy but she has proved many wrong by gaining her degree last year and completing the first year of her Masters. Amazing to say the least!”

Unfortunately, the exertion of sitting her exam has taken its toll on Séanín who suffered a particularly  tough night following her exam, suffering chest pains, paralysis and losing consciousness.

“Last night shows what leaving the house for a few hours can do to Séanín so naturally enough we are all very worried about the journey that lies ahead of her,” said Louise.

“We can only hope with all of your prayers, she will be fit for it all.”

Séanín’s fight against this relentless condition has certainly captured the hearts of the local and wider community and the Smith family had hoped that her appearance in a new “Medical Mysteries” TV series on Channel 5 would also help to raise awareness of her everyday struggle and fight for life and generate even more support for their fundraising campaign. However, they now reveal they are “absolutely gutted” to have been told last week that Séanín’s episode has been postponed due to scheduling difficulties.

The “Fight On” campaign continues unabated however and the next event on the fundraising calendar is a Fun Quiz in the Canal Court Hotel in Newry this Wednesday 4th May at 7.30pm. All are welcome to what promises to be an entertaining night.

If you would like to donate to the Fight On Campaign for Séanín, visit the justgiving crowdfunding page at