Suzanne House | Saint John of God Foundation
Suzanne House provides specialised individual respite care for children with life-limiting conditions in a small homelike environment.
Suzanne house, respite care, children, life limiting conditions
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Suzanne House provides specialised individual respite care for children with life-limiting conditions in a small homelike environment.


Our care is holistic in nature where the child and their family are viewed as one unit. Most children with high medical needs will have these needs met by their family supported by locally provided services. We at Suzanne House provide a specialist service which encompasses nursing care and social supports for these children. Our service allows families to have a well-deserved break happy in the knowledge that their child is being cared for in a respite service that is a home away from home and provides the highest standard of care and support from our dedicated nurse led team.


Our small, homely and intimate environment ensures that happy memories are made for the limited time that we are privileged to get to know and care for these children and their families.


For more information on Suzanne House please visit


To help fundraise for Suzanne House please contact us at (01) 2882231 or email us to donate.

The story behind Suzanne House

In February 1972 a healthy and happy baby, Suzanne was born to her parents Vera & Brendan. She lived a full and busy childhood, loving school, along with piano, Irish dancing, girl guides and swimming. However, at the age of 10 Suzanne was diagnosed with Subacute Selerosing Panencephalitis, a measles related virus that erupts in 1 in 1 million children. Within a matter of weeks Suzanne was completely incapacitated.


The choice was then to leave her in hospital or take her home and for her parents to learn all the necessary skills to facilitate her new condition. Ruled by their hearts and not their heads, Suzanne’s parents brought her home at Christmas 1982. With the guidance of the team in Our Lady’s Hospital Crumlin, her parents took on her intricate and 24/7 medical regime. There were no respite services available at the time.


Through a fortunate sequence of events Vera & Brendan were put in contact with a Saint John of God service in Islandbridge where they met Sheila Murphy and Anne Phelan. This meeting changed their lives and the many tasks of caring for Suzanne on their own.  Suzanne began to attend Islandbridge on a daily basis under the care of Sheila and her staff. Sadly, Suzanne passed away on 10th October 1985.


Thanks to the work of Brother Lawrence Kearns and Sheila Murphy, it was realised that a special place for children like Suzanne was needed and that vision become a reality. Suzanne House opened in June 1986 to provide care, support and respite services for children who are medically fragile or have a life-limiting condition. Annually, 16 children attend Suzanne House.


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