Prof Gerry remembered as part of frontline Covid charity cycle

September 16th, 2021 11:45 AM

By Southern Star Team

Healthcare and frontline staff at the start of the cycle in CUH last week.(Photo: Clare Keogh)

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BANDON resident and intensive care specialist based at CUH Dr Patrick Seigne led a charity cycle by frontline staff to remember those who lost their lives from Covid.

The IC4U cycle also aims to raise €150k for ALONE (older people), Aware (mental health supports), Aware NI (supports for overcoming depression) and Breakthrough Cancer Research (new treatments for cancer patients).

As the West Cork contingent got on their way, the cyclists paused at the Professor Gerry O’Sullivan Park in Caheragh to remember the founder of BCR.

The cyclists also collected white roses at each hospital in West Cork representing those who died from Covid for a memorial ceremony in Dublin on Saturday after the two-day cycle.

The event saw small teams of ICU doctors, nurses, paramedics, ambulance drivers, other healthcare staff and gardai depart from hospitals in Cork, Belfast, Galway, Limerick, Sligo and Waterford last week, with midway points in Dundalk, Athlone, Portlaoise and Kilkenny.

It follows on from last year’s ICU4U fundraising cycle when doctors, nurses and staff from Ireland’s Intensive Care Units (ICU) successfully raised €120,000 for the charities.  At the time, many working in the ICU felt uncomfortable with being labelled heroic and wanted to turn the focus back on those most in need and help charities to raise funds to keep their services running.

Dr Patrick Seigne said, ‘My colleagues and I working in the ICU, hospitals, hospices, nursing homes and other frontline services have witnessed incredible tragedy over the past year because of Covid-19, so we’ve come together to do a remembrance event for the victims and their families.  We have all seen the secondary challenges of the pandemic, in particular with older people, those in nursing homes, those experiencing anxiety and mental illness, and cancer patients so we hope the cycle will also raise much needed funds for four charities supporting these vulnerable people in our society – ALONE, Aware, Aware NI and Breakthrough Cancer Research.’

Serena O’Brien, an ICU nurse affiliated with IACCN (Irish Association of Critical Care Nurses) added: ‘We want to do this cycle as we’ve all unfortunately witnessed a lot of deaths because of the Covid pandemic over the past year and we’ve seen the toll it has had on families, especially when they couldn’t be there for their loved ones. Not only will this be a way to remember all these wonderful people, but it will also raise money for others who have been indirectly affected. We hope the general public will get behind us again this year.’

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