Celebrating Caireann

Caireann Gildea. Photo: Supplied

By Alesha Capone

A special event celebrating the life of Caireann Gildea, a little girl who loved writing and athletics, will be held at the Point Cook Pop Up Park this weekend.

Caireann, the daughter of residents Kathleen and Neal Gildea, died in March last year after suffering from a ruptured Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) in her brainstem. She was eight years old.

Mrs Gildea said that it was a day “like any other Sunday morning” when Caireann – who had won a 200-metre race at Little Athletics the day before –asked her parents to call a doctor due to pain in her head.

As Caireann started struggling to breathe, her family called triple-0.

Paramedics and the fire brigade attended, and Caireann was taken to The Royal Children’s Hospital. 

Caireann died despite the best efforts of medical staff. A scan later revealed the AVM, with doctors telling her parents that nothing could have prevented the tragedy.

When asked if Caireann would like to donate her organs, her parents decided that their daughter would have wanted to save the lives of other people. Caireann saved the three lives by donating her organs.

Mrs Gildea said that she and her husband, along with their two sons – Daniel, 12, and Rian, 4 – wanted to do something to honour Caireann’s memory.

The family have launched a GoFundMe page to collect donations for Red Nose, Ambulance Victoria and Point Cook Fire Brigade.

Although the family originally set a fundraising goal of $1000, as of Monday the page had received $4365 in donations.

To also help raise money, a family day celebrating Caireann’s life will be held at the Point Cook Pop Up Park on Sunday.

The day will mark a year since Caireann’s funeral.

Mrs Gildea said the idea for the Pop Up Park event came about because Caireann had loved attending the park, where she would dance and participate in activities.

The Point Cook Rocks group will host a rock-painting workshop in return for a gold coin donation and Ready Steady Go Kids will help out with activities. Donated artwork will be raffled too.

Mrs Gildea said that she had reached out to Sara Mitchell from CoLocal and Wyndham Cr Susan McIntyre to help organise the event.

“We’re just overwhelmed with all the support,” Mrs Gildea said.

“I think it will just be very comforting to just see the community coming together to remember Caireann.”

Event details: bit.ly/2O7fc1c. To donate to the GoFundMe appeal, visit: gofund.me/dbf35b98