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Kidney patients living in fear call for overhaul of vaccine list

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IN DANGER: Barth Flynn, attends dialysis at University Hospital Kerry three days a week. Contracting COVID-19 could be fatal for him or other kidney patients.

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By Sean Moriarty

 

A local kidney patient has called for a complete overhaul of the COVID-19 vaccination list. On the current list, kidney and renal patients are Priority 7 and are grouped together with 18-65 year olds who suffer other health conditions.

Barth Flynn (37), attends dialysis at University Hospital Kerry three days a week. The Fossa man suffered kidney failure as a baby and the condition grew progressively worse in adulthood.

“Look at the rationale behind this, Priority 3 is for over 70s who are at a risk of hospitalisation or death,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “Any exposure to COVID-19 could be fatal to us too.”

Mr Flynn was not engaging in any sort of a "me first" attitude, he was speaking as the former director of nursing at Killarney Nursing Home and as someone who fully understands the pressure the Irish healthcare system is currently facing.

“The classes are too broad, in the 18-65 age group, a lot of these people are carers for other people, who will look after them if something should happen to the carer?” he added.

His wife Lorraine Friel is a nurse at Macroom Community Hospital.

“I don’t fancy my chances if I got sick with COVID-19,” he added. “Lorraine is very concerned that she might bring it in from the hospital. I am very concerned if that happened I could bring it into the dialysis unit in Tralee. I very much know the risks involved, it is very dangerous for me, but there is a lot of people over there a lot sicker than me and if I got it they could die.”

COMPLICATIONS

He has barely left his home in the last year as his condition is further complicated as a result of heart surgery last year – as his kidney illness caused damage to a valve in his heart.

He also suffers from a form of arthritis, another side effect of his kidney condition.

He was originally supposed to undergo heart surgery in November 2019 but that got delayed until July last year.

His 10 days in University Hospital Cork underlined what he already knew from his wife – that hospitals are under very serious pressure.

“One man on the same ward, he had his procedure cancelled three times, he was fasting and ready but the hospital needed the ICU beds after more [COVID-19] cases. He was in for a bypass,” said Barth.

The couple are parents to two boys, Josh (6), and Luke (2). Luckily for them her brother John effectively gave up his life, to care for the two children.

“John has been living with us for a year, when all this started he offered to come, it has had a big impact on him,” added Barth. “When I am at home after dialysis, I am too weak to look after the boys.”

He also called on people to obey the guidelines as any spike in COVID-19 cases puts him and other kidney patients at very real risk of death.

“We can see with these restrictions – they do work,” he said.

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Free creative workshop for children impacted by cancer

Cancer support charity, Recovery Haven Kerry, will host a free creative workshop for children impacted by cancer this coming Thursday (September 30). The online event has been organised to mark Childhood Cancer Awareness Month this September and will be facilitated by Recovery Haven Kerry deputy manager and art therapist, Katie O’Donoghue from Killarney. The workshop, which […]

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Cancer support charity, Recovery Haven Kerry, will host a free creative workshop for children impacted by cancer this coming Thursday (September 30).

The online event has been organised to mark Childhood Cancer Awareness Month this September and will be facilitated by Recovery Haven Kerry deputy manager and art therapist, Katie O’Donoghue from Killarney.

The workshop, which takes place via Zoom at 6.30pm, is aimed at children who have been impacted by cancer in any way and will also see Katie read from her debut children’s book, ‘‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’.

Workshop facilitator, Katie, has worked for many years as a child and young people’s therapist with the NHS, before returning to her native Killarney this year. Her background is in fine art and design and she has a Masters degree in Art Psychotherapy.

If you would like to register your child for this free online workshop, please contact Recovery Haven Kerry on 066 7192122 to book your place.

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Not to be for Killarney as Waterford named Best Place to Live in Ireland

While Killarney made it through to the last five, in the end it was Waterford City which claimed the overall title of Best Place to Live in Ireland 2021. While the city was the unanimous choice of the judging panel it had to beat off stiff competition from Killarney and three other shortlisted locations: Clonakilty, […]

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While Killarney made it through to the last five, in the end it was Waterford City which claimed the overall title of Best Place to Live in Ireland 2021.

While the city was the unanimous choice of the judging panel it had to beat off stiff competition from Killarney and three other shortlisted locations: Clonakilty, Co Cork, Galway city and the village of Glaslough in Co Monaghan.

Among the things which impressed the judges about Waterford were its beautiful buildings, its liveability, its pedestrian friendly public space, its weather, and its easy access to the Comeragh Mountains and the Copper Coast.

The Chair of the judging panel Conor Goodman congratulated Killarney on its fine showing in the competition.

“Given the level of entries and the extremely high standard of those entries, making it into the Best 5 Places to Live in Ireland really is a wonderful achievement which I’m sure everyone in Killarney and Kerry is really proud of. We were delighted with the level of interest in the competition and would like to thank everyone who nominated a place or who engaged with us on it.”

The Irish Times Best Place to Live in Ireland contest, which is supported by Randox Health, began in June.

In total 470 locations were nominated by more than 2,400 people from all 32 counties for the title of ‘Best Place to Live in Ireland 2021’.

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