Kathleen’s Story

Tracy and Kathleen Rose Harkin

“The day my husband and I were given Kathleen Rose’s diagnosis is a day we won’t forget in a hurry. Doctors told us our daughter would be very lucky to survive past her first birthday.


“Trisomy 13 is a chromosome condition. It was a very dire diagnosis. It was presented to us in a very bleak way. We knew in our hearts we wanted what was best for our daughter and we just wanted her to reach her full potential whatever that would be, whatever that would mean.

“The term ‘fatal foetal abnormality’ is not only hurtful to parents, it’s also medically inappropriate and extremely misleading. No doctor can say with certainty just how long a child with one of these conditions will actually live outside the womb. Kathleen has surprised us in so many ways. She’s now ten years old. It’s just amazing.

“If I were to sum up Kathleen’s personality · she smiles and she hugs and she loves. She shows nothing but love. She teaches us so, so much. She teaches us to accept people the way they are, to be non-judgemental. She teaches us that you need to take every day as 
it comes and to celebrate every day.

“Right now in Ireland we’re at the brink of a very special time in history. I think we really need to stand up and shed light on what we have in our Irish culture, which is a very deep respect and love for all our citizens whether born or unborn. Children like my daughter are protected and valued and cherished. The repeal of the 8th Amendment will change that in a very dramatic way.”