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28/07/2021

Tipperary healthcare worker praised by covid patient who spent 21 weeks in hospital

Tipperary healthcare worker praised by covid patient who spent 21 weeks in hospital

Nenagh's Niamh Hogan with covid pateint Mike Moloney who spent 21 weeks in hospital

A Tipperary healthcare worker has been praised for her role in helping a Covid-19 patient who spent 21 weeks in hospital with the disease.

Nenagh's Niamh Hogan manages the Patient Advocacy Liaison Service (PALS) initiative with University Hospital Limerick Group and is based on the hospital's Limerick campus.

When Mike Moloney from Knockaderry in West Limerick, was hospitalised with Covid-19 and was forced into isolation, it was Niamh who kept him in touch with his family.

And this week, Mike praised Niamh for her role when he had an emotional reunion with staff at University Hospital Limerick.

He and his family completed a symbolic one-kilometre walk to the hospital to express their gratitude to the healthcare workers for placing Mike on the road to recovery.

The walk was organised by family members with the support of PALS, who organised a Covid-compliant reunion within the hospital grounds to host the family as they made their special acknowledgements to the staff.

They were joined in their walk from Citygate Business Park to UHL by UL Hospitals Group CEO Colette Cowan, Dr Catherine Motherway and colleagues from the hospital's Intensive Care and High Dependency Units, laboratory and radiology staff and Operational Services personnel.

Also in attendance were nursing and rehabilitation staff from St Ita's Hospital, Newcastle West, where Mike spent a further eight weeks in rehabilitation under the care of Dr Margaret O'Connor and her teams.

Mike's experience with Covid-19 began in April 2020 when he tested positive for the disease. His 21 weeks in hospital included four weeks and six days on a ventilator, and he endured numerous complications, including pneumonia, sepsis and organ failure.

“When I think back to this time last year, things were very bad,” Mike said. "It has been a long road to recovery since then, but now I am back walking every day, I have started cycling, and I have also managed to play a little golf as well. This time last year, I couldn't even walk,” he said.

“I owe all of this to the staff at UHL, and to my physiotherapists Fiona Burke and Emma Enright and all the staff at St Ita's in Newcastle West. They put me on the road to recovery. It has taken all of this time, but by starting off doing a little bit, building it up gradually, and always pushing myself to do a little more, it has brought me to where I am.

"I also have to thank Niamh Hogan and the PALS team for helping to keep me in contact with family with video and phone calls, which was a great reassurance to them when they were unable to visit me," said Mike.

"I still have a long way to go, but so many other people have not been so fortunate as me, and I could not praise the staff enough,” said Mike, who celebrated his 72nd birthday on June 18.

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