HOSPITAL staff members who were applauded as medical marvels have become spin doctors in a bid to focus on patients and charities that support the vulnerable.
A nationwide 200 kilometre sponsored cycle is also a thank you to everybody who is supporting a war with Covid.
As a gesture of appreciation, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) doctors, nurses and staff at our local St Luke’s General Hospital have joined colleagues from all over the country on the marathon two-day cycle that began yesterday, Thursday
Object is to raise funds for charities supporting families hit by Covid-19.
The concept arose as many Irish doctors, nurses and ancillary staff said that although they immensely appreciated the ongoing support of the Irish public throughout the pandemic, they were uncomfortable at being
labelled ‘heroic’ and ‘frontline’.
Plan was to turn the focus back on to patients and support charities.
A raft of generous donations is flooding in and generosity means that the €100,000 target may even be surpassed.
What we might term the medical equivalent of Blazing Saddles started in earnest yesterday when Team St Luke’s pedalled to Waterford, accompanied by support vehicles, to meet South East colleagues from the University Hospital.
Teams then cycled back to our city, strictly observing Covid-19 rules and restrictions, to prepare for today’s early morning journey to Dublin
This afternoon’s rendezvous of some 120 brave volunteers who swapped gowns, masks and gloves for an alfresco adventure is a ‘keep your distance’ salute to participants and supporters of a cycle of courage.
The ICU 4 U Charity Cycle will boost Alone (older people), Breakthrough Cancer Research (new cancer treatments), Aware (mental health) and ICU steps (ICU aftercare support).
The project was the brainchild of Dr Paddy Seigne of Cork University Hospital ICU and it quickly snowballed as colleagues in many hospitals nationally volunteered to climb on to their bikes.
His idea was to use the fundraiser for charities that had been badly hit during lockdown.
St Luke’s Hospital co-ordinator, Dr Niall Kavanagh, Consultant Anaesthetist told The Kilkenny Observer that many ICU staff members were not comfortable with being put on a pedestal during the crisis as they were just doing their jobs albeit in challenging times.
“We are extremely grateful for the gifts we received from the public but we need to put the focus back where it is most needed – with the patients and charities.
“The impact of Covid-19 reaches far beyond the ICU, and we are only beginning to see the secondary challenges, in particular with the elderly, those in nursing homes, those experiencing anxiety and mental illness.
“Covid-19 ICU survivors and cancer patients who are particularly vulnerable to the virus have had their diagnoses delayed and urgently need treatments.”
Cycle Ambassadors are comedian and TV celebrity Graham Norton, Olympic rower Paul O’Donovan and hotelier and TV personality John Brennan.