The mother of Saoirse Ruane has told of the heartbreaking moment she had to tell her daughter her cancer had returned.
County Galway native, Saoirse, starred on Late Late Christmas Toy Show in 2020.
The seven-year-old was first diagnosed with cancer after she went to A&E with a suspected sprain or broken bone.
'Initially, when she went into hospital, we talked about her having a tumour because she didn’t know what that meant,' her mother, Roseanna, recalled to Newstalk Breakfast.
'We were very careful not to mention cancer but within a week we did have to tell her.
'It was heartbreaking and even telling her she had to lose her leg - that conversation I would never wish on anyone.'
Saoirse was diagnosed in December 2019 but in a devastating blow she was told by doctors she would have to undergo the life-changing operation to have her leg amputated.
'She had that on 18th March 2020 - when the country was closing down,' said Roseanna, who was highlighting the fact it is Child Cancer Awareness month.
'She recovered from that with time - she did 10 months of intense chemo.
'In November 2020 - just before her appearance on the Toy Show - she got her first prosthetic leg and then we started to get back to life.
'I suppose, not get back to life because it’s very important that people realise you don’t get back to that life that you had. It’s very different and always will be.
'But we started to come through the haze.'
But their hopes of rebuilding their lives were cruelly shattered in May of this year, when Saoirse complained of a chest pain when she took a breath.
Her GP recommended she go into hospital for tests which was when their world came crashing down for a second time - doctors had found a tumour on her lungs.
'[I was] absolutely floored that evening when the doctor beckoned me outside the cubicle and her words to me were, “Do you want to get your husband to come in?' Roseanna said.
'She was very lucky in a way because that tumour could have been there in her lung for a long time before we’d ever have realised but because the tumour was attached to her lung and her chest wall, it was causing this pain.
'So it was picked up very quickly, I suppose.'
Incredibly, after surgery and a stint in ICU, Saoirse is back in school but the family are still wrapping her in cotton wool for now.
'She’s very happy go-lucky, we were very lucky to get to Disney World a couple of weeks ago,' Roseanna added.
'We all had a fantastic holiday. It’s very important that we got her there as we were a year and a half waiting to do that, so we feel that box is ticked and we all had a fantastic time.'