A BOATFUL OF MIRACLES

Residential at the Discovery Share Village

The RVH Liver Support Group held its first overnight residential  at the Discovery Share Village on Upper Lough  Erne on Saturday 23rd to Sunday 24th September.  50 people attended from 12 families.  These families were linked by their experience of caring for a family member seriously ill with a liver condition, often over a long period of time.  In most cases this family member was a child.

Saturday’s activities included banana boating (where the speedboat driver seemed much more keen to pitch the Benson family into the freezing lough than the other group taking part), raft building (where both completed rafts stayed intact when they were rowed off into the lough) and T shirt design.  In the evening there was a fiercely competitive Fussball tournament and videos screened for children over supper.  On Sunday morning some took a sedate two hour cruise on Upper Lough Erne while the more active went kayaking or mountain-biking.   The weekend ended with a relaxed Sunday lunch during which Caylan Benson did the parents of the younger children a massive favour by tiring them out with a high-speed game of hide-and-seek.

The activities, very well led by Jarlath and his team of instructors, were great fun.  But the richest experience of the weekend was the sharing of powerful conversations about illness, recovery and their impact on families.  At the end of the lough cruise on Sunday morning there was talk of the inspirational courage and resilience of children who had come through brutal illness, and in some cases were still dealing with it.  It was suggested that A Boatful of Miracles might be a fitting headline for the weekend.

The committee was represented by Rachel, Anya, Jennifer and Donald.  Huge credit goes to Rachel for her hard work in setting up the event and the calm and sensitive way in which she led it.