Club Mass 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Thomas Cox   
Friday, 08 January 2010 09:28
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Club Mass 2010
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Mick Dolan - Article from Galway Hospice Newsletter 2009
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Last November the Annual Club Mass was held in the Club House in South Park. An event which remembers all of our members that are here no longer with us it is always a well attended event. This year was no exception. The Event is organised by our Joint Club President Mick Sullivan and his Wife Della (pictured below).

This year Mick Dolan's family presented to the Club the Clerical Vest and Ordination Candle (or part of it) to the Club this

will be on disply over the coming months and is pictured below.

 

 



 

The following is an Article written by Mick Dolan RIP prior to his death in July 2009. Mick in this Article looked to raise awareness for his adopted home from home the Galway Hospice. If you ever happened to visit Mick during his stay in the Hospice you always understood his frustration at not being able to do more for them (the Hospice). This Article and the sentiments in it we believe allow Mick even though he is now looking down on us from a higher place communicate his message to a wider public audience.

 

Mick Dolan RIP

Mick Dolan RIP 1932-2009

My Home away from Home

My first encounter with the Galway Hospice was in 1994 when a neighbour asked me to join the Hospice weekly draw. This I did without any thought about the work of the hospice - it was a simple way of contributing to what I knew to be a worthy cause.  Little did I know then what the hospice would come to mean to me in time.

In 2002 I was diagnosed with prostate cancer with secondaries in the bones.  From then until 2007, with the benefit of radiotherapy, I had a pretty normal life.  However, during 2007 my condition deteriorated, and I received further radiotherapy followed by chemotherapy, and I then spent three weeks in UCHG after being diagnosed with pneumonia.  About this time also I noticed that my mobility had greatly slowed down.     

Herein lies my next experience with the hospice. Following my discharge from hospital, the Public Health Nurses introduced me to the home care team from Galway Hospice. The frequency of the visits from both the Public Health Nurses and the Hospice Home Care team to my home never ceased to amaze me. My deteriorating condition was gently monitored and their advice greatly appreciated.  

The next step came in June 2008 when my home care nurses arranged for me to start weekly visits to the Hospice Day Care Centre.  While my initial reaction was not overly enthusiastic, I fortunately overcame my misgivings and decided to take up their offer. This I reckon was the best decision I made concerning my illness. The Hospice Day Centre opened up new avenues to me. I distinctly remember my first visit, where I was somewhat bewildered as to what exactly was expected of me.  I can now see there was no pressure to partake in any of the proceedings until I felt ready. At this point I found myself availing of the various facilities and treatments, and of course fraternising with and forming friendships with the other patients.  Jacuzzis, hair cuts, massage, physiotherapy and chiropody etc were all available to me - this of course took a great deal of pressure off the home front.

The Hospice Day Centre operates 3 days a week for different groups. While Wednesday was my day I was fortunate enough to be available for other days when vacancies arose.  The hospice minibus or a volunteer driver would call to my home to bring me to the hospice, where each and everyone attending is warmly greeted with tea/coffee and a freshly baked scone produced on the premises. The daily papers are there to be read. Friendships are quickly established and the experiences of the previous week related to one another. Mid morning, the dinner menu is circulated.  Choosing from the menu is a matter for great debate as it is comparable with any of the established hotels / restaurants in town.  At 1pm lunch is served.  Once again I must mention the wonderful nurses, aides and volunteers who are totally engaged in looking after our each and every need.

Our spiritual needs are not overlooked with an optional post lunch visit to the hospice chapel. Here a short prayer service led by the hospice chaplain takes place. We also receive regular visits from the priests of the local Renmore Parish.

After the prayer service we re-assemble in the Day Centre to continue the activities of the morning. Time and numbers permitting bingo is played, which is especially popular with the ladies. There are of course special occasions when under the guidance of the volunteers we are introduced to the art of making Christmas decorations and cards, then in spring St Brigid’s crosses are made and bulbs are planted in the garden. Other events worth noting here are the Christmas party and shopping trip, not to mention organized trips to Knock and even Lourdes!  Birthdays are duly noted and the celebrant presented with a cake to be shared and enjoyed by all.  The day’s activities begin to conclude at 3pm when the hospice once again provides transport directly to our doors.

In Dec 2008, on the recommendation of the Hospice Day Centre’s resident doctor, I was admitted to the hospice Inpatient Unit with a chest infection, resulting in a three week stay. At this point I still had most of my mobility allowing me to make regular trips to the hospice Day Centre and to the hospice restaurant for my meals. I was discharged in time to spend Christmas at home.

In January 2009, the infection recurred and I was re-admitted to the hospice Inpatient Unit.  Although treatment brought the infection under control, my mobility was rapidly deteriorating to the point that within a short space of time I was confined to bed and requiring 24-hour care.

Since then I have become reconciled to the fact that the hospice is now my home and will be for time to come. There is no possibility that I can ever resume normal activity, but how fortunate I am to be where I am.  Words fail me.  The staff here are 100% supportive in the daily care they give while they are constantly striving to enhance the quality of the lives of their patients. To me it could be no better and I can’t imagine anywhere else that could match the attention I receive here. They even arranged to have the Triple Crown and Grand Slam trophies brought in to me.

My illness affects all members of my family who are being so attentive to me.  It is a great consolation to me how they accept my condition.  My wife Teresa accepts the inevitability of the future knowing that I am in the best possible hands.

When asked I was only too willing to contribute this article to the 2009 hospice newsletter. I am currently the longest standing inpatient of the hospice and consequently I have met the majority of the staff from the CEO down, each of whom has given their very best to me.  Because of this, while naming Teresa, I have refrained from mentioning others by name for fear of omitting any one of these wonderful people.

Since my admission, a day has never passed without visits from members of my family, added to this are the welcome visits of dear friends. The discussions I have had with my visitors make it clear to me the lack of knowledge the general public has about the hospice and its activities. There is a perception that visits are restricted to family.  If nothing else I would hope that this article will dispel this misconception. Perhaps you the reader will have the opportunity to broaden the thinking of the many people who would like to visit but have refrained from doing so.

The hospice is very dependent on voluntary support.  Fortunately, there are many individuals and groups who are constantly fundraising for the hospice.  The hospice is also about to launch into a major extension of the premises which will add greatly to their financial challenges. Support can be given in many forms be it by direct contribution or participation in the many fundraising activities held throughout the year. The annual Memorial Walk along the prom is a classic example of where one can assist. This event is growing year by year producing a sizeable sum annually. There is of course the weekly draw which was my own fortunate introduction to the hospice back in the early 90’s.  

It would be wrong to minimise the comforts of my own home, ‘mar níl aon tinteán mar do thinteán féin’. However I can honestly say that, while missing out on that pleasure, there has not been a day since I came here that I haven’t thanked God for the Galway Hospice, a place of respite for the many, and currently my home away from home.

 

We would like to Acknowledge the permission of the Dolan Family and the Galway Hospice in publishing this Article.

 

 

 

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 March 2015 17:49