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Gene makes an emotional return to UHK

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DONATION: Denis Geaney and his ‘Team Geaney’ donated €27,465 to ICU in University Hospital Kerry this week. Funds were raised from charity cycle of the Ring of Kerry in July this year. Also pictured are: Gene Tangney, (centre) and his partner Máire O’Grady, daughter Fiadhna Tangney, and members of the Tangney family, Christina and Siobhan Tangney. Team Geaney members Derry Healy and Eileen O’Leary. Staff members of UHK include: Helena Behan, Theresa Winter, Siobhan O’Nuallain, Clodagh Stack, Dr Niamh Feely (Consultant Anaesthesiologist), Caitriona Hartnett (ICU), Ferghal Grimes (General Manager UHK) and Sarah O’Connell. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan

By Michelle Crean

 

A trip back to University Hospital Kerry (UHK) proved very emotional for Killarney man Gene Tangney this week after contracting COVID-19 and spending four months in their care.

Gene was accompanied by Denis Geaney and his ‘Team Geaney’ to donate a generous €27,465 which was donated from the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle in July.

Team Geaney organised the cycle after being inspired by Gene's will and determination to get better following his horrific Coronavirus battle resulting in medical professionals at the hospital placing him in an induced coma and ventilator to assist in his breathing for three months.

The night before the cycle, Gene’s friends and family were greeted with the amazing news that Gene from the Black Valley, though frail, had finally been released from UHK. The surprise visit was very emotional to see his dad and family in the Black Valley on that Friday night.

Making the donation this week, Gene was met with staff and management of the ICU at the hospital, it was very emotional for all, the atmosphere was palpable.

Today Gene is in need of much rehabilitation and ongoing treatment and the recovery is slow. Gene also presented a framed picture for the ICU ward in grateful appreciation to the care and attention he received.

“We were absolutely delighted with the amount of money raised," charity organiser Denis Geaney said.

"The generosity of people never ceases to amaze me. Gene together with his partner Máire and close family went through hell and back, they are so loved and respected in Kerry. We felt this was a very positive and practical thing to do for Gene and the ICU department. Honestly, it was the most enjoyable charity cycle in all my 37 years of the event.”

Gene, together with all the Tangney family, especially his son Feidhlim and daughter Fiadhna, partner Máire O’Grady, his dad Dikey, sisters Siobhan, Susan, Irene, Mary Rose, brother Derry, nieces and nephews, Gary, Christina, Claire, Michelle and Sinead, are so grateful to the medical team and hospital staff in UHK.

The 100,000 friends and well-wishers who lit candles in solidarity with Gene on Easter Monday night at 9pm kept them all going throughout his long ordeal.

“I would like to pay tribute to Denis Geaney and his team for organising this wonderful and worthy event," Gene said at the emotional presentation.

"I would also take this opportunity to thank each and every member of staff at UHK and especially the team in the ICU, without them I would not be here today. To everyone who sent me messages of support and held a vigil for me during my darkest hour, thank you all. To my dad, my family and great friends, who have stood by me, thank you so much. Finally, to Máire my partner, thank you for your ongoing love and care, I’m forever in your gratitude.”

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Better late than never Christmas present for St Francis Special School

By Sean Moriarty St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use. Husband and wife team Ciaran […]

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By Sean Moriarty

St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use.

Husband and wife team Ciaran and Karen Dwyer, directors of Guerin Engineering and Pumps Ltd in Kilcummin, presented the special adapted bicycle to the staff and pupils at the Beaufort school on Tuesday.

After seeing an online request last December that the school needed the bike, they decided to gift one.

They contacted Glencar Medical, a Dublin-based firm that specialises in the supply of equipment to schools like St Francis, and ordered the bicycle.

However, nothing is straightforward in the current climate, Brexit, COVID and war all contributed to a delay in getting the bike to Ireland. Once it was in Dublin there were further delays in sourcing the special straps that St Francis’ children need to ride the bike safely.

It all came to a happy ending this week when the Dwyers were finally able to present their Christmas present to the school.

“We saw this request and we contacted the school and said we wanted to buy one, they told us where to get one, and we ordered it,” Karen told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We had it paid for by the end of the year but then it took three months to get it into the country. It took more time to import the specialist parts. The costs were increasing but we did not mind at all.”

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Jordan Lee to tell his story to the county’s schools

Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry. The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series […]

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Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry.

The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series of informal talks on his achievements and how he overcame his disability to reach the top of his chosen sport.

The 21-year-old was born with a foreshortened left arm known as amniotic band syndrome but has enjoyed a successful sports career which included representing Ireland at the Tokyo Olympics last summer.

Now he wants to share his story and inspire other students to follow their dreams.

His tour started last week at Colaiste na Sceilge in Cahersiveen and over the next few weeks, depending on his training schedule, will visit schools in Firies, Milltown, and Killarney.

“Don’t be afraid of people with disabilities or different backgrounds,” he said. “A few years ago there was only typical people in classrooms – you never came across people with disabilities or from various different countries. It is a lot more mixed now. I want to inspire people to treat everyone on the same level.”

‘Jordan’s Drive’ is made possible thanks to his role as a brand ambassador for Kelliher’s Garage, dealer principal, Tim Kelliher explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“Having got to know Jordan so well over the last couple of years we have come to realise how much of an inspiration he is so we decided to ask him to hop into his Toyota CHR Hybrid and bring his story out into the highways and byways of the Kingdom,” he said.

“Headlined ‘Jordans Drive’ and organised by my marketing team headed by Yvonne McMahon they have travelled to many of the schools around Kerry from Cahersiveen to Beaufort, Killorglin and with other dates planned for Firies and Milltown to name but a few. He has spoken his many words of wisdom to the children who have been in awe of the journey and his achievements, and we at Kelliher’s Garage are delighted and proud to have him as our brand ambassador.”

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