Marty Whelan pays tribute to hero who helped his mother Lily (94) when she suffered a stroke
MARTY Whelan has paid tribute to the kind and sensitive hero who helped in the time leading up to the death of his beloved mother Lily.
As an only child, the popular broadcaster was thrown into turmoil when Lily (94) suddenly suffered a stroke in October 2013.
"We were plunged into a panic - I've never been in hospital in my life - and my mother had never been sick a day in her life," he revealed.
"It's the helplessness of it," added Marty.
Lily lived for a day and a half in Beaumount Hospital - during which time she had her 95th birthday - before passing away peacefully.
While she received great care in general at Beaumont, the man who really made the difference was healthcare assistant in the emergency department, Dave McGuinness (25), from Malahide.
"It makes a big difference when someone is kind to you," said Marty, adding that it was the reassurances provided by Dave that made him feel better in the run-up to his mother's passing.
Dave has been a healthcare assistant for four and a half years and says that while it has its ups and downs, he loves his job.
"It's good to help people," he said, adding that sometimes even a cup of tea is a help.
"How could you forget a face like that," joked Marty, when the two got together for the first time in almost two years as Marty officially said 'thank you' to Dave.
His gesture was part of the Beaumont Hospital Honour Your Heroes' reception, now in its fourth year.
The in-hospital staff recognition and fundraising programme sees patients pass on thanks to members of staff who went the extra mile.
"We don't have an honours programme in this country so this is a really nice way of paying tribute to everyday heroes who make a very special difference," said Marty.
Identical twins Noeleen Diskin and Helen Keogh from Lucan were there thank the hospital's chief medical scientist, Derek O'Neill, and the transplant team at the northside facility.
After Helen developed kidney failure from Crohn's Disease, Noeleen immediately offered her twin a kidney. No conversation even needed to be had, they said.
Because their bodies are identical both inside and out, the donated kidney was seamlessly accepted by Helen's body and she did not need to take anti-rejection medication.
Grateful mother Pauline McManus from Ballinasloe, Co Galway, whose son Eoghan (9) was rushed to Beaumont in May 2014 after a brain haemorrhage also paid an emotional thanks to staff for the help they had given her family.
Eoghan had been helping his mother unpack groceries when he complained of a headache and his condition began to deteriorate and he started to vomit and sweat profusely.
Eoghan was placed on life support within just 40 minutes of his headache developing and was rapidly transferred under Garda escort to Beaumont, where he underwent surgery.
He was back at school four months later and is now back playing Gaelic football.
Eoghan thanked health care assistant Deirdre Greene.
"She was always in good form, couldn't do enough for me, always kept everyone laughing on the ward and raised their spirits on the hard days," he said.
Meanwhile, Ruth Harris (35) from Finglas, who was treated for breast cancer, said a special thank you to nurses Lorna Cosgrave and Caroline Grehan of St Clare's cancer ward - explaining that they were her friends before she became ill.
"The difference that a friendly face makes is just incredible," said Ruth.