Running to raise cancer awareness and salute staff at South Tipperary General Hospital

Cancer diagnosis gave Edmond Prendergast an insight into the invaluable work being carried out at STGH

Edmond Prendergast

Reporter:

Edmond Prendergast

In mid- October this year life was sailing by. There were no issues but by the end of October I knew something was wrong health wise and went to the A &E Clonmel hospital on the first Sunday in November.
They kept me. The only image I had of the HSE was what I picked up from national airwaves and media and in general this was negative. Once admitted, the calmness and methodology in trying to find out what was wrong was impressive. On day three professor Peter Murchan came to meet with me and explain the hospital staff would continue to carry out tests, procedures, minor surgery and biopsies and then diagnose. I liked this system as with all good decision makers, assemble all the facts and then reach a correct decision. I think Peter knew exactly from day one where this was going. And so after this process, I was diagnosed with cancer, Lymphoma.
It was a major shock as chemotherapy treatment was outlined.
Clonmel work closely with WRH, a fact about the HSE I was unaware of. Clonmel began the first phase of treatment and once a bed was arranged in WRH, speedy transfer and treatment continued in their dedicated specialised chemo ward, another fact about the HSE I was unaware of.
Similar to Clonmel hospital, WRH and its staff are outstanding and carry out their work in such a professional manner. It is worth noting both hospitals have completed major expansions and currently both hospitals are undergoing further building projects, compliments to the government on obtaining monies in this difficult year.
From the gifted ambulance personnel to the administrative staff, medical staff and the non- medical staff, STGH is managed to top class standards.
Tthe co-operation of all staff towards the care and attention to the patients is exemplary. I was seriously ill in Clonmel and the nurses and doctors who were treating you one week may be working on another ward the following week but still drop back in to see how you are progressing - such an admirable trait.
Even the non-medical staff every day go about their essential duties and their words of encouragement to us patients are a tonic in itself. There are many young mothers working in STGH and indeed across the HSE who get up early in the morning, blow a silent kiss to their sleeping children, leave their partners to look after the house who have to ensure children are in time for school, do homework, work themselves, and then these same young mothers after clocking in a twelve hour day and add on changeover and driving time return home to see their children once again sleeping.
These talented young people carry out these sacrifices so that people like myself who get seriously ill have a second chance at life. I am deeply humbled and indebted to these extraordinary workers and can only compliment all the staff in STGH and across the HSE and say a most sincere Thank You. Furthermore, in our own community there is a dedicated nurse who specialises with chemo treatment, again a fact I did not know about our HSE and what a service this is straight to your own home.
Cancer does not knock on your front door.It enters your home uninvited, unexpected and wreaks havoc. Cancer cannot be defeated on your own. The amount of goodwill messages, offers of support from family, neighbours and good friends is overwhelming, inspiring and so essential. Even friends who over the natural course of time have slipped away, come bouncing back with help. There are bad days and many of them but my mantra is “These will pass”. For every good day I experience, I know it is one step closer to a full recovery.
I am a social runner and was so moved when Ian Purcell, Monica Lambe, and more mooted they would like to organise a short run to raise cancer awareness as one never knows when it will arrive on your doorstep. Grateful thanks to Joe Ormond for taking some photographs of the event. Both hospitals complimented me on something I always took for granted- my fitness levels- and said this provides a great start in a battle with illness.
I wish to thank Ian, John Laste, Niall O' Cealaighagh, Niall O’ Sullivan and my great regular wonderful running friends and all within Clonmel Athletic club over the years who continue to provide such encouragement to stay fit. I hugely appreciate the runners who have came out o to help raise awareness for cancer and wish to say thank you. Any monies raised on the day will be directed to Clonmel C.A.R.E. centre which provides support to anyone affected by cancer in this area. This group carries out wonderful work and is mostly dependent on the generosity and goodwill of the public. I am also very proud to say that Trish for a number of years provided a Reflexology service to many patients in C.A.R.E. and Trish did all of this on a voluntary basis. Thanks to everyone involved and all the good wishes, we as a family unit are so appreciative.
Finally as the hospital are encouraging me to start walking and exercise again, after the run which I was not well enough to attend, I put on my own runners for the first time since mid October and walked around our home. The feeling of breathing the fresh winter air on such a beautiful sunny day was magic. First day back.