Sunday 20 January 2019

Patients pay tribute to 'heroic' hospital staff who go the extra mile

Beaumont Hospital heroes
Beaumont Hospital heroes
Tiernan O’Sullivan with Beaumont Hospital’s Denise Andrews

A group of "medical heroes" from Beaumont Hospital were recognised by their grateful patients, with one saying "the care is amazing".

A mix of patients from all around the country awarded their carers at an emotional Honour Your Heroes ceremony yesterday.

Dubliner Deirdre Sanda (49) gave thanks to staff nurse Nicola Mahon for the care she received during her treatment for myeloma - a cancer of the white blood cells.

"There is so much negativity around hospitals these days, but once you get in there the care is amazing," she told the Herald.

Deirdre had not been feeling well for several months before she was diagnosed with myeloma.

The childminder remembers having a constant stabbing pain in her side as if she had broken a rib.

The Malahide woman went for physio thinking it was due to muscle strain, but continued to experience extreme tiredness, which she presumed to be nothing more sinister than a side-effect of getting older.

However, she went to hospital and blood tests showed she was anaemic. She was admitted to hospital and a bone marrow biopsy was taken, which confirmed she had myeloma - a cancer that is more often seen in more elderly patients.

Deirdre said nurse Nicola was "like a family member" during her brilliant treatment and care.


However, Nicola said: "It's just our job. You can see the level of staff getting smaller but we're there to help, and it's so rewarding when you see them recovering."

Tiernan O'Sullivan (11), from Mallow, Co Cork, was born with a condition called spina bifida hydrocephalus, which causes incomplete development of the spinal cord while in the womb.

Tiernan thanked Denise Andrews and the staff of St Raphael's Ward, who he said "were really brilliant".

He has had multiple operations over the last five years, which he said were "really sore".

Denise told the Herald that massive Liverpool fan Tiernan was "wonderful to work with" and she and all the staff are "delighted with his progress".

Former All-Ireland Tipperary hurler John Kelly (69), from Kilruane, Co Tipperary, had surgery to remove a rare brain tumour, and he then had to stay in Beaumont Hospital for 18 months.

John's consultant anaesthetist, James O'Rourke, said he was the "most patient man" he had ever met.

"There were times where I'm sure John would have been saying 'where are we going here?'. But he was always so strong," said James.

John revealed how "regaining his independence" was the key thing he had to thank James and the staff at Beaumont Hospital for.


RTE Broadcaster Anne Cassin was on hand to present some of the awards and she said she was only ever "met with kindness and professionalism" in her experiences with the hospital.

"We're celebrating stories of hope, survival, resilience and recovery and a chance for patients to honour their heroes," she said.

"The staff here have gone that extra mile to make sure of their patients' recovery."

Honour Your Heroes is an in-hospital staff recognition programme that allows patients to pass on a message of appreciation to a hospital staff member in thanks for the care they received while in Beaumont Hospital.

These messages are displayed around the premises for staff, patients and the public to read.

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