KATHLEEN and Hugh Ward are well known in the wider Omagh area for their spectacular garden and this year they are opening it to the public to raise funds for charity after their grandson underwent several open heart surgeries.
Caolan Ward who was born with a congenital heart defect, is doing well, and his grandparents now want to express their thanks to the Children’s Heartbeat Trust and help fund a special new unit in Belfast.
The brave nine-year-old from Derry has received expert health care at both the Royal Children’s Hospital in Belfast and Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin, Dublin.
Speaking to the UH Kathleen said the Trust had provided invaluable support to her family during a difficult time.
“As a family we are so indebted to all the work of the Children’s Heartbeat Trust,” she said.
“The work and the support that they provide has made such a difference.
“This is the first time we have opened the garden for charity, and it really is a very worthy cause and we hope people will come out to support it.”
The couple are hoping they can exceed the estimated 800 people who visited their home – Tattykeel House – during their last open garden event.
Created over a 25-year period, Kathleen and Hugh have established a 1.5 acre country garden plants with conifers, shrubs, roses and perennials.
At this time of year, the garden is resplendent in a stunning array of colours and multitude of green shades.
Lynn Cowan from the charity said, “We are extremely grateful to Hugh and Kathleen for supporting our work through their Open Garden Weekend.
“It is envisaged that funds raised from their event, will support the Children’s Heart Centre being built in Belfast this year.
“The centre will be a key component of the new all-island Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) network and is required to ensure the provision of high quality services.
“The improved services will deliver a one-stop shop for children’s cardiac services and will be a crucial aspect of the ongoing care for children with heart defects in NI.”
Heart disease is the most common birth defect, with over 200 babies in the North affected each year.
Many of the children will require open heart surgery and ongoing cardiac care for their condition.
Tattykeel House Open Garden Weekend will take place from 12noon to 5pm on Saturday, July 1 and Sunday, July 2.
Everyone is welcome to attend. Refreshments will be served.
A donation of £5 per person is required for entry and children must be supervised at all times.
For more information contact Tattykeel House on 8224 9801.