By Noel Dundon
Canon Stephen Neill and his wife Nicola have been inundated with messages of support after their fourteen year old son Aaron, collapsed on holiday in Tenerife on Saturday last with a brain tumour.
The Neill family were holidaying in the Canaries when the incident happened and Aaron was immediately rushed to hospital where he underwent emergency surgery. Thankfully the medical team are said to be pleased at the way the surgery went and have been impressed with Aaron’s progress to date.
Canon Neill, the hugely respected Church of Ireland Minister who famously traced US President Barack Obama’s Irish roots to Moneygall and who met with President Obama and First Lady Michelle in May in their home town, has been keeping a bedside vigil alongside his wife while Aaron, their only child, continues to recover from the surgery.
The Tipperary Star understands that it had been initially feared that substantial brain damage had occurred, but Aaron is now currently undergoing a raft of tests to determine the full nature of his condition. Further surgery has not been ruled out at this stage but it is not clear yet whether that would take place in Tenerife or Ireland.
Canon Neill and his wife have been inundated with messages of support from neighbours and friends in North Tipperary and were delighted to report that Aaron had been sitting out in a chair having gotten out of bed.
Canon Neill was responsible for putting Moneygall on the international map having discovered that President Obama’s ancestors resided in the North Tipperary village. His work paved the way for the US President and First Lady to pay an historic visit to the village where they mingled with locals and drank a pint of Guinness in Ollie Hayes’ pub.