Community helping to fund new wheelchair for White City girl

North Belfast and Newtownabbey residents are rallying round the family of Megan Mehaffy (11) in an effort to raise funds for an all-terrain wheelchair.

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Ald Frank McCoubrey with Megan Mehaffy.
Lord Mayor of Belfast, Ald Frank McCoubrey with Megan Mehaffy.

Megan was born with severe hydrocephalus and a heart condition, Tetralogy of Fallot.

Recently her mum, Anna, was able to borrow an all-terrain wheelchair for a few weeks. This allowed them to explore places they had never been to before.

Sign up to our daily NorthernIrelandWorld Today newsletter

After hearing about their enjoyment with the all-terrain chair, members of the Jordanstown Loughshore Swimmers group have started an online fundraising campaign in a bid to secure money to help provide Megan with her own all-terrain buggy. They aim to raise £9,000.

Detailing her daughter’s conditions, Anna said: “Megan has had a few operations on her head and heart and she will still have a few more in years to come.

“She is registered blind, but can see to a degree. She also has poor hearing. Megan has scoliosis. This will require corrective surgery at some point.

“Megan is peg fed so this means she has a pump that feeds directly into her stomach. She has severe epilepsy and developmental delays. Megan uses a wheelchair full-time.

“Although she has no speech, this does not stop her great personality from shining through. She is our warrior. She has had so many operations in the past, long and short stays in the hospital.”

The fundraising initiative has been backed by Castle DEA elected representatives, Cllr Dean McCullough and Cllr Conor Maskey, who joined Megan and her mum during a recent visit to the Lord Mayor’s parlour at Belfast City Hall.

Following the reception, Lord Mayor, Ald Frank McCoubrey explained: “Megan is a wonderfully brave little girl having been born with hydrocephalus and cardiac

complications. She lit up the parlour when she came to see me at City Hall recently.

“I was delighted to join councillors Dean McCullough and Conor Maskey and Megan’s mum Anna, to highlight the campaign to raise money for a new wheelchair for Megan.”

Cllr Dean McCullough urged residents to back the fundraising effort. He said: “To meet Megan and her mother Anna, hearing her story, was deeply moving.

“Her smile lighting up City Hall, seeing the love she brings to those around her. 

“I would appeal to you to hear Megan’s Story, and together, we can help her write the next chapter of her incredible journey!”

Cllr Conor Maskey added: “Meeting Megan and her mother Anna, and hearing her story, was an extremely humbling experience.

“Like all 11 year olds, she brings joy and love to all who are around her.

“I want to do everything I can to make her life more manageable and I appeal to people that hear Megan’s story to do the same.”

For more information, check out the Magic for Megan Facebook page.

At the time of going to print, almost £7,000 has been donated to the online fundraising page. If you would like to make a donation, visit the JustGiving page


Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.Please consider purchasing a copy of the paper. You can also support trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription of the News Letter.