castle overlooking sunset on the Ireland coast

St. Patrick’s Day Contest Entry: Love eclipses tragedy

In Win A Trip to Ireland by Leslie IntriagoLeave a Comment

Our next favorite entry comes from Lana, a contestant who planned her Ireland honeymoon with Authentic Ireland.  We were very saddened to learn about the hardships that she and her husband have endured shortly after returning from their honeymoon and wish them all the best.  Lana we’d be happy to offer you and Josh a special discount if you’d like to return to Ireland.  Just reach out to one of our travel specialists.


I want to preface this short tale by telling you that my husband and I just travelled to Ireland with Authentic Ireland for our Honeymoon. Just 6 short months ago, we experienced the beauty, the peace, and the tranquility of this beautiful country. Of all the places we have visited, the raw and natural beauty of Ireland was the most captivating. We still get starry-eyed when we think of our drive along the Ring of Kerry. The people, oh the people! We laughed with, danced alongside, and became quick friends with people all across the country. We spent several hours talking to a local cow farmer in Doolin, and were welcomed into the home of a wood-turner along the Ring of Kerry as if we were long-lost cousins. Our B&B hosts were some of the kindest men and women we’ve ever met, they also may have been some of the best cooks we’ve ever met! It was quite unbelievable for us to drive from forest, and then to coast in just a short amount of time. We expected this to be the trip of lifetime, and it far exceeded those expectations.

Our Honeymoon came, it went, and 5 months later, my husband came up with the sweetest Christmas gift theme ever. He gave me Walker’s Shortbread, a framed map of Ireland, and a photo book of our Honeymoon. Just days later, we were having a normal day when he started having heart palpitations, and severe chest pain. As a paramedic, he knew that something was seriously wrong. In the Emergency Room, they found Josh was in Ventricular Tachycardia, a potentially lethal heart arrhythmia and he was shocked three times before he returned to a normal rhythm. Twelve torturous days later in the hospital, we learned Josh has an extremely rare congenital heart condition called Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia, or ARVD. ARVD is a terminal illness known as a Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome, and required Josh to have a defibrillator and pacemaker placed immediately. In between his five surgeries, one thing we kept saying was, “when (not if) we get out of here, we are going on a second honeymoon! We are going to carpe diem!” My husband’s terminal condition has no cure, it is progressive, and has altered every aspect of our life.

What has NOT changed is our desire to see the world– together. We will have to travel a little differently than before because of the disease, but travel we will. Travelling will give us a sense of normalcy in this time where everything we know has been turned upside-down. Our Honeymoon is something we will never forget. We will never forget the unadulterated joy we had, not knowing what was ahead of us in the months to come. Because we don’t know if we will have 1 month together or 70 years together, every moment is precious. We would like to return to Ireland to follow through on those promises we made to each other in the hospital. Even if you don’t ‘vote’ for us to win this trip, we both would feel extremely honored if you would go read about Josh’s condition, and be on the lookout for heart disease symptoms in yourself and loved ones.


Authentic Ireland specializes in vacations to Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.  Our travel specialists have an intimate knowledge of the landscape and have planned thousands of vacations over the years. If you can’t wait for our next travel contest, reach out to us and we’ll work with you to plan the vacation of a lifetime!

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