Chloe McEvoy from Portlaoise defied the odds as a baby when she survived high-risk open heart surgery. Now, she is doing her family proud by going forward as the first Laois Rose of Tralee entrant with Down Syndrome.
Chloe is happy and healthy and can’t wait to get a glamorous dress on for the Laois Rose selection night in Castle Durrow on April 19.
The 19-year-old told the Leinster Express that she is thrilled to join other entrants on the Laois Rose journey.
“I love it, I’m excited. It’s good I love the Rose of Tralee everyone told me I was picked to do it and I’m so excited. I would like a diamond dress with diamonds and glitter. My sister will do my hair and makeup. I’m not shy I don’t mind when people come in and meet me, I don’t mind being the Laois Rose, it’s my favourite,” she said.
Chloe’s mother Michelle, pictured below, said her family is so proud of her and will be behind her all the way.
“She had open heart surgery when she was six months old. They told us that she might not survive and on the morning of her surgery she actually died but thank God they got her back, thank God. From then on she hasn’t looked back.
“She would be a great ambassador for Laois because she can speak up on a lot of things. She would be very good and very out there she’s not shy. If she meets you, you could be her best friend tomorrow,” Michelle said.
Chloe has two brothers and two sisters, she has a close bond with her sister Sarah. Sarah said the whole family is hugely proud of her and she will bring something special to the Rose stage.
“We are very close. She would be something different as a Rose and something special. She will have everyone in hysterics you won’t expect it coming from her but she will surprise everyone, she does it every day.
“She lets on to be shy at first but she’s not one bit shy, she loves dressing up and going places. We are all so proud she is going to do the best job,” she said.
Chloe went to St Francis School and has been working at Lilly’s Bar in Portlaoise for a few months now where Sharon Maher and Jane Mason are her mentors. Sharon wished Chloe well on behalf of everyone at Lilly's.
“We love her to bits, she’s a great girl and she’s going to make us all very proud. She’s going to be the belle of the ball and a brilliant Rose and smiles all round. She brings excitement, smiles to everyone’s faces. She’s a great kid and she loves her job she would be an example for anybody,” Sharon said.
As well as going to 16 concerts this year, Chloe will also visit Fatima and Lourdes for the 19th time with her mother.
Chloe loves to sing and said she wants to go on The X-Factor someday and she hopes to sing on the Laois Rose stage too.
The Laois Rose selection night takes place on Friday, April 19 starting at 7.15 pm tickets are €25 and some tickets will be available on the night.