Ronan Keating revealed on Wednesday that his wife Storm is spending 14 hours a day on a construction site, rather than attending much-needed physical therapy, in an effort to complete their new eco-home before Christmas.
The grueling shifts come after Storm was temporarily paralyzed from the waist down last year when she underwent back surgery for a prolapsed disc and woke up in the hospital with no feeling in her lower body or control of her bowel or bladder.
In an exclusive conversation with MailOnline, Ronan said of Storm’s long road to recovery: ‘She’s trying to get to physio'[therapy] but even that was difficult because she is on site 14 hours a day non-stop… She is an incredibly positive person.
Storm has now largely regained her mobility, but still struggles with numbness in her right leg. Still, Ronan and his family have raced against time to get their house ready for their move-in date next week.
He gushed, “We can’t wait. Fingers crossed that we will be in the new house by Christmas. Please God. We are very excited. It’s all hands on deck to get it done.’
The singer explained about their eco-structure: [Sustainability] is a very important part of what we do… from recycling water, taking in air and converting it into heat, solar energy… we are completely off the grid.’
Ronan and Storm bought the country house on the outskirts of London in 2016 and have spent the past five years transforming the traditional house into a carbon-free home – complete with a swimming pool and tennis court.
Reflecting on Storm’s terrifying health scare during her renovation project, Ronan said: “There was Covid, so no one was allowed into the hospital when Storm had her surgery.
‘It was horrible. It was terrible… But that was the reality of [the pandemic] for everyone,” he added.
Ronan, who shares Cooper, four, and Coco, one, with Storm, revealed that his older children Jack, 22, Missy, 20, and Ali, 16 from his previous marriage to Yvonne Connolly, took care of their half-siblings during the ordeal.
He explained: “The kids were at home with the older siblings, so they had that… You just have to be strong for the kids and try to get through it… I don’t know how… We did.” just did.’
Understanding firsthand the pressures placed on children when a family member is unwell, Ronan attended the opening of a new playground next to Evelina London Children’s Hospital in Lambeth on Wednesday, designed for siblings of the children being treated to to play in.
The playground is made entirely from recycled Happy Meal toys and is located outside the Ronald McDonald House on the site, where families are given respite to cook, wash or sleep while their children, siblings or relatives are treated nearby.
Speaking of the project, Ronan said, “What’s special about a playground is that no matter where you are in the world, when my kids are in the car and they see a playground, they think, ‘Oh! Can we go in there?”
“Kids will immediately say, ‘Can we please go in for five minutes!’ And of course it’s delicious. So that little area, Elelyna House, is a great little place for the kids to play and meet other kids who are going through a similar situation.”
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The Ronald McDonald House Charities UK (RMHC UK) aims to help families with children in hospital by providing families with free ‘home from home’ while their relative is being treated.
Passionate about the project, Ronan said: “[Families] spending the whole time in hospital with their kids so it’s just a place to go…McDonalds donated £25,000 to RMHC UK in December, equating to a 10,000 night stay for families at the Ronald McDonald- house – what just a phenomenal amount.’
Ronan explained that in addition to Lambeth, Ronald McDonald homes are also scattered across London in Moorfields, Camberwell and Tooting to provide families with much-needed rest during this festive period.
You can donate to RMHC UK via the My McDonald’s App, in the restaurant via the self-service kiosks and red collection boxes.
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