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Lucas O’Neill


The Quay, Westport and Tourmakeady

August 11, 2013 - May 9, 2021

Appreciation by his mum Marie

Lucas was a beautiful, sweet and gentle boy. His name, very appropriately means ‘Bringer of Light’, and that is exactly what Lucas did. Lucas brought light and life to everyone who knew him.
Lucas lit up my life from the moment he was born. He came into this world in much the same way as he left it, which was with beauty and grace, and very little fuss.
Life threw a lot of struggles at Lucas, yet he took everything in his stride and remained the same relaxed, easy going boy.
I, sometimes, imagine what Lucas would be like if his epilepsy had responded to treatment, or, if indeed, he had never developed it at all. I am sure he would have been the peacemaker in the family, diffusing arguments between his rather strong minded sister and brother.
Calmness radiated from Lucas.  
I think if he had been able to speak, “Relax, chill out” would probably have been his motto in life. As a lot of people who know me might say, he didn’t get that from the wind!
It would be a mistake to think that Lucas’ calm, quiet nature made him weak or meek, because it was quite the opposite, in fact. Lucas’ abundance of strength and resilience carried him through serious illnesses and pneumonias, major surgery, and many, many hospitalisations, some of which, we were unsure he would return home from.
Lucas defied all the odds and almost made it to his eighth birthday.  
Knowing that Lucas’ life span was limited, made us truly appreciate the time that we had with him and the special memories that we made with him.
Every Christmas, every birthday and family occasion that we shared with Lucas, was all the more special, knowing that each one might be our last with him.
Lucas was loved and cared for by so many people. We were so lucky to have incredible nurses, both from Jack and Jill and from the HSE, come into our home on a daily basis, to nurse, to care for and to comfort him. These nurses became an integral part of our lives.  They understood Lucas and what he needed. They became part of our family. We trusted them with one of the most precious gifts in our lives and we found comfort in the exceptional way that they looked after our son and in their constant support for our family.  
Lucas was easy to love and although his level of needs was high, he was easy to care for because of his lovely, pleasant nature.  
This was a sentiment that was echoed wherever Lucas went.  
The staff at Mayo University Hospital, Castlebar, were always amazing. Doctors and nurses that knew him so well and  cared for him regularly, were always at the  end of the phone, morning, noon or night to answer any queries or worries.  
Laura Lynn created a safe, comforting space for Lucas. This allowed us to just be a normal family and to do regular everyday things while we were there.  
The team in Crumlin provided Lucas with the specialised care that he needed and helped Lucas through some very scary and life threatening situations.  
Lucas had wonderful therapists and specialised palliative care and public health nurses who understood him and his complex needs and they helped to make his day to day life as easy and as comfortable as possible.  
The amount of people that enriched Lucas’ life and our family life are too many to mention.
The entire community of Tourmakeady, both at home and abroad, and many of the surrounding towns and villages joined together to support Lucas with the ‘Hope for Lucas’ fundraiser last year.
It was incredibly touching to witness the enthusiasm, the hard work and the huge generosity of time and money that so many people put into the fundraiser. We are truly grateful for all of it.  
The kindness and the generosity shown to Lucas and our family over the past few years has been overwhelming.  
Equally, the kind words and the many expressions of sympathy that we have received since Lucas’ death have been so comforting and we have been really moved by all of them.  
Lucas was a blessing to us. Without ever saying a word, Lucas touched our hearts and gave us so much love.  
Lucas had no expectations, yet, somehow, he made the people around him want to step up and to be the best versions of themselves.  
Lucas’ life wasn’t always easy.  I wish that I could have changed that for him. However, knowing Lucas and being Lucas’ mum has been, and is, one of the greatest privileges of my life, and I wouldn’t have changed him for the world.  
We think of Lucas every day.  Lucas is loved and remembered by his beautiful, caring, little sister, Alannah, his gorgeous, happy go lucky baby brother, Adam, his Granny and Grandad Gill, ‘Uncle Arthur’, with whom he shared a special bond, Nanna and Grandad O’Neill, and all of his aunts and uncles and cousins.  
Lucas, you are loved so very, very much. You are forever in Mummy and Daddy’s thoughts and in our hearts.  
Lucas lives on in all of us.