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Irish Voice Entertainment
The Mighty Quinn
September 18, 2008
Edited by Debbie McGoldrick
IRISH American actor Aidan Quinn – emphasizing the Irish part, as he spent a chunk of his childhood in Ireland and has worked on several films there – spoke to the Sunday Independent last week about lots of interesting matters, both career and personal. But he really stood out when talking about his 19-year-old autistic daughter who doesn’t speak.
Ava Quinn has, however, been a joy to her parents, Aidan and his wife Elizabeth Bracco (sister of Lorraine Bracco of Sopranos fame.) But it surely hasn’t been easy for the family, which also includes a 10-year-old girl. Ava was, according to her dad, a perfectly normal baby, until she got vaccinated.
“So we had a normal child that was walking, talking, doing everything way faster than she was supposed to. Then, after an MMR, she got a 106 fever and turned blue and woke up the next day with dark circles and not knowing who she was. And uncoordinated. And her arm lifted up. Of course the doctors are all saying, ‘Oh, that’s normal.’”
The horror must have been unbearable, but the family persevered. The worst, Quinn recalled, was seeing his child “crying uncontrollably and in pain and nobody can tell you what to do to help. And there is nothing showing up on any of the tests. But you know your daughter is in pain.”
Today, Ava is doing okay, and has a special friend in her life. “She does have a guy that she grew up with, that she’s very keen on and they are very keen on each other. And they do give each other ... it is delight seeing them together, these two autistic adults now.
“And when they are together, the way they eye each other out of the corner of their eyes and laugh at each other. My daughter doesn’t really speak. So sometimes you’re guessing at what’s going on.”
Quinn is currently in Co. Cork filming The Eclipse, by the noted playwright Conor McPherson. It co-stars Ciaran Hinds.
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