Lights on for charity

Lights on for charity

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The house is fitted with 8000 lights, lasers and a snow machine. Photograph — Kelly Pilgrim-Byrne.

A Ferndale family has made their house ‘visible from the moon’ this Christmas to raise money for the hospital that has done so much for them.

Rebecca and Francis Prendergast and their children started putting up more than 8000 lights, inflatables and lasers on their Tudor style house in November.

The Prendergasts Rebecca, Kay, Louisa, Francis and in the front Cooper, Ryan, Jack and Sarah the cat. Photograph — Kelly Pilgrim-Byrne.
The Prendergasts Rebecca, Kay, Louisa, Francis and in the front Cooper, Ryan, Jack and Sarah the cat. Photograph — Kelly Pilgrim-Byrne.

They have been lighting up their house for years but for the past three they have also been raising money for the Princess Margaret Children’s Hospital Foundation (now the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation).

The family decided to raise money to thank the hospital for their efforts helping Mr Prendergast’s 10-year-old son Ryan who spent most of his first two years at the hospital battling the rare Kostmann syndrome.

Mr Prendergast said Ryan’s battle was tough and the work of the staff at the hospital was amazing.

“Ryan’s disease essentially means he doesn’t produce neutrophils which is the first line of defence against bacterial infections,” he said.

“Any bacterial infection that he used to get could have been potentially life threatening and every single time he had one he had to have IV antibiotics.

“He was in and out of hospital, he got his first bacterial infection at about three weeks old and then he got another one a month later.

“By the time he had three, when he was six months old, we said ‘what’s going on?’ and we got them to look deeper into it and that’s when he was diagnosed.”

Ryan had to have two bone marrow transplants before he started getting better but he still suffers lung and other medical issues because of it.

“He pretty much takes some of the strongest forms of antibiotics all of the time just to make sure he doesn’t end up having a serious infection,” he said.

Mrs Prendergast said lighting up their house was the least they could do.

She said the house looked fantastic at night and urged community members to stop by, donate and enjoy.

“We finished it all off this year and went, ‘wow, it’s crazy’,” she said.

“It looks like a ginger bread house with lollies all over it. “I’m pretty sure you could see our house form the moon.

“We’ve got lots of inflatables, the whole front of the façade is lit up, we’ve got a snow machine and just lights everywhere.”

The home is at 10 Alyxia Place, Ferndale and the lights are switched on at sundown and run until 10.30pm.

The Prendergasts will be outside collecting donations in tins.

For more information visit facebook.com/Xmaslightsferndale.