A 21st Century Comedy of Errors

The main players in this incident packed story are Dr Kathleen Finan, medical consultant at Sligo General Hospital, Dr Una Clyne, urological consultant at Sligo General Hospital and Dr Kilian Walsh, urological consultant at Galway University Hospital.  There are two separate scenes, Sligo University Hospital ( now referred by SGH) and its murky corridors and a much inferior hospital to its big brother, Galway University Hospital (now referred as DUH) with its bright and breezy corridors hiding inefficiency and bad practice, but they are the two biggest hospitals in Ireland’s western province of Connaught, which provided most of the labour to rebuild Britain after the 2nd World War, which only proves these two hospitals are good at shovelling shit.

As I told you in my previous trilogy of blog postings, Two weeks of Trauma in late April and early May this year, that Helen, my wife of 43+ years had felt unwell, the local doctor advised I take her to SGH, where she had a heart attack (sic) and they helicoptered her down to GUH as the only way of saving her life.  GUH had the equipment, SGH did not.  GUH stabilised her condition and because they thought that she had had a heart attack, they gave her an angiogram, to find where the clot formed and the incision formed by the procedure became infected causing two further procedures to cut out infected flesh leaving a 100mm x 50mm hole in the top of her right thigh.  The results from the angiogram proved inconclusive.  No blockages found in the venous system, no stents needed: head scratching was the order of the day.

This drama started on 11th April and she was returned back to SGH on 18th April and released from there on 25 April to be tended by the local District Nurse.  The heart was not the problem now, it was responding to treatment and the wound caused by the angiogram was being treated professionally and well by the District Nurse.  The good news on that front was on the 18th July some 14 weeks after the angiogram, our wonderful District nurse Cait Daly struck Helen off her list and pronounced the wound completely healed.  A pity as I found her most efficient and caring.  The problem now was that in their scans of the vital organs in their search for the cause of the supposed heart attack (sic) they by chance had found a spot (sic) on her left kidney.  Dr Finan had noticed this but as she was no expert in Urology she referred us to Dr Clyne who said she was.  We saw her at an out-patients clinic in Sligo on about 25th May.  Dr Clyne, a large contemptuous woman, started to explain the problem.  Her bedside manner would put the fear of God in anyone.  We started to ask pertinent questions.  “Don’t ask me that, I’m only a surgeon” she said.  The upshot was that the spot (sic) was 8cm long and over 2cm was considered to be malignant and she was referring us immediately to Dr Walsh in GUH, the top bollocks in terms of kidneys in the west of Ireland.  So much for her claim to only being a surgeon.

Whilst we awaited Dr Walsh’s invitation we had an out-patients clinic on about 10th June with Dr Finan, a serious, concerned humourless lady who showed us how Helen’s heart, badly swollen after the heart attack (sic), had returned to roughly its normal shape and was improving by the day and by the way it wasn’t a heart attack, it was a pulmonary oedema.  This we were told some two months after the incident.  A pulmonary oedema is where the lungs fill with fluid, the heart looks for oxygen, does not get any and starts to close down.  Why or how this came about she was not able to answer.

However she showed us the scan on Helen’s kidneys, the right perfectly clear and kidney shaped, the left covered totally by a black shroud.  The spot (sic) had become an ogre.  We expressed our concern at the lack of contact from Dr Walsh at GUH.  She rang his secretary who said she knew of the referral and would shortly be posting out an appointment.  This was the 10th June, nearly two months after the discovery.

By the 10th July even our GP was getting concerned and rang GUH Urology appointments who told him that Helen would be given an appointment shortly but that they had only been notified on 28th June.  Porkies immediately crossed our mind.  Either Dr Clyne who was supposed to have notified GUH on about 25th May, or Dr Walsh’s secretary who said she knew about it on 10th June were lying or more than likely lax in their communication methods.  Our GP gave me all the contact details and told me to pursue the matter on a daily basis and suggested it would possibly be quicker if we sought a private appointment as opposed to one from out-patients.

After three more days of telephoning GUH and relating our story I eventually got through to a nice lady called Una in Urology appointments who said she would do her best to process the matter but having no faith now in the system I decided to go for the private appointment and rang Dr Walsh’s secretary who said that the doctor was going on holiday for a month and that the earliest date she could give me was 26th August, I took it and was told to bring €150 for the appointment when we arrived in August.

The following day Una in Urology appointments was as good as her word and an out-patients appointment came through the post for 18th July.  I cancelled the private appointment but was wary of this months holiday that Walsh was about to take.

18th July was a fine summer’s day as we presented ourselves at GUH at 2.00pm for the 3.30 appointment which was being held in the fairly new prostate clinic opened in 2009 so the plaque on the wall said by none other than a cousin of mine Mary Harney, Minister of Health at the time.  I thought the gods must be with us as we waited expectantly.  They unfortunately were not.

Mr Walsh, a tall lean man, as well as being top bollocks in kidneys was humourless and useless without notes, called us in to the room, sat us on two chairs and sat at his desk with his back to us as he pressed keys on his computer, flicked through his file of notes, occasionally turning his head to the side to presumably see if we were still there.  He went back to Helen’s file flicked through the pages once again, did some one fingered typing on the screen in front of him and then swivelled round in his chair and said to Helen, “you have been seriously ill” and spewed out a load of medical terms which by their tone seemed to suggest seriousness. ” The trouble is” he said “I have only got the notes from your stay here in GUH in April.  I have no idea of the improvement in your condition since then nor have I the results of the scans taken in Sligo.  They have not sent us any of your notes.  If I consider operating on you with the information I have in front of me the operation might kill you.”  Assurance in deed from the top bollocks.

“I don’t know what to do” he said with one eye on his forthcoming holiday.  Helen suggested he went on the internet and pick up the notes from SGH.  He shook his head “Impossible he said our two systems are incompatible, if we need information of this type we rely on the post”.  Technology raised its head and farted.  It is only July 2016 and the two hospitals rely on a system introduced in the 1840s.  When Ireland sells itself to the world it talks of its high tech philosophy, there is no country finer.  If Kilian Walsh is top bollocks in kidneys, Ireland is the same in technology.  My arse!

Mr Walsh sighed and said all we can do is start from the beginning again and send you for more scans, more bloods, more x-rays and we will see you again in two months time.  Obviously these malignant tumours get on fairly well without intervention.  This did not seem to be much of a Plan B.  SGH could have been on the far side of the moon for all he was concerned and besides as he knew and probably thought that we didn’t, he was off on a month’s holiday and fuck it, if she is still there when I get back I should have all the information I want, if not so be it.

Helen mooted the idea of having all the tests done on the same day to save multiple 160 mile trips.  “No chance” said Mr Top Bollocks.  It makes me wonder why consultant doctors are so humourless, contemptuous, so lacking in empathy, in fact so devoid of emotion but I suppose if looking at the dead and nearly dead all their lives such feelings come naturally.  I can only thank God for my endocrinologist Dr Wilma Lourens in SGH who puts all the rest of them to shame with her gentle coaxing, concern and humour.

And as a last thought considering the number of patients shuttled between the two hospitals by helicopter and ambulance each year, surely it must be within the wit of somebody in the Health Executive to make the two computer systems compatible even if they have to draft in some 12 year old from the local National School.  We now await that far off day in mid-September when Dr Walsh has all his notes and feels well enough to give us his best prognosis.  If you have a God pray for us, our problem is we don’t, so we have no Plan C.

Hark, I hear the postman delivering mail and lo and behold how efficient, two days after our abortive visit to Galway, we have another appointment with Dr Walsh.  Not in six weeks or even two months but in 11 weeks time, 24 weeks after the tumour was discovered.  My how the time flys, how lucky we are in having doctors willing to go that extra few yards and how lucky we are at having tumours willing to wait.

And one very last thing I would like to praise the kindness and sympathy of Noirin, the nurse in Walsh’s out-patients clinic who showed on the day what the medical professionals need to be aware of when dealing with patients.  Knowledge and surgical skills are one thing but care and appreciation of a patient’s condition is a far bigger deal altogether.

The Glorious Days Of Late Spring

Well the panic station weeks of April are thankfully now over and Helen is recovering well at home under my immaculate and dutiful nursing skills.  The District Nurse now sees her every other day to tend the massive wound which became infected after the angiogram procedure and had to be operated on twice to remove dead flesh.  However it should be fully healed by the end of the first week in June.  May I say here that the District Nurse service for North Roscommon centred in Boyle is as fine an organization as you could possibly want.  It operates on a seven day a week basis and is staffed by a fine team of lady nurses, chatty, humorous and most importantly very able.  Arriving like clockwork at the appointed time although covering a massive area.  A special thanks to Nurse Cait Daley who has done most of the dressings, for her close attention to Helen.

At this moment we are going through the grinding Out-Patient charade, where every man and his dog who thought he or she had some hand in Helen’s case wants to see her and do not much else.  Most of these visits are a complete waste of time and money and must be a mighty drain on the Health budget.  For us Sligo Hospital is a 70 mile round trip and takes four hours to complete and Galway Hospital is a 160 mile round trip and you could write off the whole day.  We have been to two on separate days at Sligo this week and two more at Galway next week with a further one in Sligo the week after and that is only round 1.

Helen is good, starting to do little bits around the house under my supervision.  A little ironing, washing up and a little bit of cooking.  I allow this because it is important that she keeps her hand in and does not lose the deft touches she has picked up in over 43 years of blissful marriage.  She has of course one or two problems still not sorted out but she is brave enough not to let it worry her.  She has lost a good bit of weight, she now weighs 60 Kgs but under my meticulous culinary care her appetite is improving slowly but surely.

We are having some glorious weather in these last few weeks of May and I am sure the sun is helping the recuperation process.  The garden is in a great state after a week of spring cleaning.  The hard standings have all been power-washed to remove the winter build up of moss.  The grass on the lawn has been cut to within an inch of its life and the edges strimmed.  A new pin comes to mind.

Our greatest pleasure at this time is sitting out on the verandah after dinner, coddling a glass of wine as the sun pours its penultimate rays down on us from the west.  We watch the small birds, robins, bullfinches, greenfinches and dunnocks as they gorge themselves on the organic porridge oats we leave out for them and after satisfying themselves bring a beak full back to their loved ones during this nesting season.  Our pair of robins have been with us all winter and the cock soon lets us know when the bowl is empty.  He sits on the newel post of the balustrade which runs round the verandah and looks mournfully into the kitchen.

While the oats are getting their evening hammering, the martins are flitting about in their last insect frenzy of the day.  They return to us every year from Africa at the beginning of May to the same nests as last year and if for some reason the nest has been destroyed they set about rebuilding it in the same place.  They have to get a move on because they have sometimes three litters to care for before flying back the way they came in September.

The hanging baskets are in full bloom, likewise the white lilac and magnolia bushes that stand sentinel in the middle of the garden.  The wisteria which we brought with us from Manchester 10 years ago is enjoying its best year yet and the drooping lilac bunches cover the balustrade, around the gutter and along the herring bone strutting in the roof.  The shame is that its flowering season is short and the petals drop off in a lilac snow storm after only a few weeks but it does have a less profuse flowering in September.

The Crumpety Tree at the bottom of the garden, which is an amalgam of hawthorn and elder gets more fairy story-ish as the years pass by.  The white hawthorn blossom is just appearing and the elder flower blossom still green and will npot be mature for at least a month.  Helen then picks it and makes elder flower wine and cordial.  Let us hope she is up to it this year.  Sitting here this evening with our glass of wine sure makes the heart feel good and hopefully Helen’s heart is of the same opinion.

As I write a greenfinch has just dive-bombed a dunnock from its place on the porridge bowl, helped itself to a morsel and sped off.  We have placed the bowl on a hanging basket under a large bunch of wisteria.  This stops the large birds, the blackbirds and magpies raiding.  They have enough to eat in the freshly mown lawn which they share with the wood pigeon, thrush and occasional pheasant.

Further along the garden, through the elevated section which is covered with pink granite chippings, the troughs of herbs, rosemary, chives, fennel,. thyme and mint are thriving and at my elbow the trailing begonias are in full bloom hanging out of their boxes along the west side of the verandha and beyond the begonias the lavatera is in bud and within a week we should have a mass of pink flowers.

Our rocking chair is vacant at the moment trembling in the slight evening breeze.  It has already seen ten of these annual cycles, nothing impresses it but it remains as good as the day I constructed it all those years ago.  Beyond the lavatera our boat lies on its trailer in the driveway, pristine after my son cleaned it of its winter grime and it now waits to be put back on the lake again.

Everything is tensed and at the same time relaxed.  Life at this moment is great.  However we have still a few hurdles to jump but that is the future, let us enjoy the moment and the glorious late Spring.

Bullies Both Local And International

In a posting I titled Critical Claptrap which I published on 6th September 2015 I set out verbatim the rubbish that you get sent when you write a blog.  Everybody is allowed to comment on what I say, but to comment abusively and anonymously is rather outside the Pale don’t you think?  Well this wise guy who must be my biggest fan has come up with more of the same.  He must have read every posting I have made and there are nearly 450 of them and extracted bits out of each one and taken them out of context, to write what he does.  Here is his latest.  I publish it verbatim because I cannot really see his point.  Why should somebody waste his time writing claptrap although I have to say it is reasonably well written.

In your pathetic self-serving excuses and lies for the abject failure of “your campaign” you have once again abused the memory of a decent man, Mike Sheehan, the alleged raison d’etre for your activities over the past 6 years.  In my opinion, since leaving Bede’s you were never close to Mike, had you actually known him well, you would know why he hated to be called Michael, yet in your ignorance you blithely refer to him as your friend Michael.  From my knowledge of the man, I do not believe that he ever made any detailed complaints or allegations of abuse to you.  His death provided the perfect unquestionable cover for a manipulative abusive personality like you to present your imagined account of what might have happened as facts.

After a lifetime of your own abusive relationships, for the past six years you have followed in the footsteps of your mentor, Duggan, abusing the weak, defenceless, the dead and the powerless in the per-pubescent, upper-third form smut, in which you are developmentally marooned.  Like your fellow bully Duggan, you carefully avoid abusing people and professions who might challenge you personally and call you to account and in this respect, until recently, perhaps your reputation as an offensive but pathetic madman served you well.  As soon as you are challenged directly, the bluster and vitriolic abuse ceases as in your well practiced manner, you scurry for cover and anonymity, putting as much distance as possible between yourself and those who are prepared to take you on, legally and financially.

Having spent six years encouraging and persuading vulnerable former pupils who may well have been abused in the past to follow you in what you claim, was clearly your campaign, the case collapses and your obfuscation, lies and deceit flow as fully and easily as the swollen Boyle River passes by your house.  Some of those abused, elderly and often chronically ill men have been further traumatised by you and your pathetic, damning and entirely counter-productive, self-appointed advocacy on their behalf.  Your feigned concern for them is just that, feigned, as you will now know from your research, your psychopathic personality precludes the ability to experience genuine empathy for others.

“Your campaign” was never about Mike Sheehan, Bede’s, Duggan, abuse or the abused, they were merely the conduits for you to use and manipulate.  The “campaign” was entirely about you. and the ruthless self-promotion of a lifelong failure, who wanted to be a somebody, to be respected and revered.  Your latest experience in failure is yet again somebody else’s fault, a necessary pre-requisite of maintaining your deluded view of yourself.

Contrary to the image of the fearless advocate and campaigner you have claimed to be, in your normally care-free and abusive blog, you suddenly introduced a personal apology to a group of solicitors.  An apology from you! Yet where was the explanation for that transformation, surely you were not being evasive or economical with the facts?

Your elaborate deceit in claiming to be looking for accommodation in London to watch the High Court proceedings, when you already knew that the case was to be abandoned and the reasons for that abandonment, is a damning indictment of your dishonesty.  You knew Counsel’s opinion on the fragility of the case, the almost certain outcome if it went to Court and your personal responsibility for destroying whatever case might have been presented.  Were your readers really expected to believe that the self-appointed founder, leader, and propagandist of your campaign would be a mere observer of events in the High Court?  Would Counsel for the Diocese, really have ignored the opportunity to put you on the witness stand, utterly destroying your credibility and by association, any plaintiffs who had been encouraged or advised by you?

Your latest effort to portray yourself, as a poor pensioner, reliant on a British state pension fools nobody but yourself.  Litigants have already identified some of your hidden funds and trusts and in this respect have had direct assistance from the people and organisations you were so keen to avoid prior to your hasty flight to the West of Ireland.  In the circumstances and given your personality and behaviour to date, you will do everything necessary to avoid any possibility of ending up in Court facing libel or slander charges, for which you would be held personally and financially liable.

You mention one last Lash, a final drinking session, and like millions of other alcoholics your written account of your temperance and good intentions fools nobody.  Like your personality disorder alcohol dependence is part of your condition, it has been with you for almost 50 years and will remain with you for the rest of your life.  The Doctors have already made you aware of the inevitable consequences of your addiction, but the die is cast.  Perhaps, like Mike, much as you might have wanted to beat the addiction, I’m not sure you ever had the determination or personality to succeed.  Why not just accept who and what you are?

Your wider family like your former customers, employees and the neighbours from Clifton Road and Longsight know what you are really like, and many of the bridges between you and them have long since disappeared.  Now in your hideaway in Boyle the same suspicions and rejections are evident, perhaps the kindest description I heard of you came from an elderly and char5itable female neighbour, “he’s a gurrier”.  Unlike the Greater Manchester area, Boyle, Roscommon and the West of Ireland is a much smaller community and seemingly unknown to you, people there have “copped on” to the real Paul Malpas.

In one respect you have been exceptionally lucky in having a wife who has stood by and defended you through all the years of problems and conflicts which you have created, she is indeed your rock and the anchor which has somehow saved you from the consequences of the many impulsive and self-centred adventures and campaigns you would have otherwise embarked on.  Consider for a moment if you can how you would cope and how long you would last in the absence of Helen?

The recent lull in your blog, though entirely expected in the circumstances is welcome and hopefully will continue.  I had wondered if you had run off with the circus when it was in town, a change of name, new identity and an erasure of the past would be attractive to you, but perhaps the explanation is simple, in that finally, you have been confronted and shown to be so profoundly damaged and damaging.

Hopefully Mike Sheehan can now rest in peace, the memory of him, left with family and friends, no longer manipulated and abused by you.

Well that letter posted in Central Manchester could be said to be a complete character assassination of poor old me if it were true.  Posted to my home address but with no name of sender, complete anonymity and I take exception to that when in the second paragraph it says that I “scurry for cover and anonymity”.  With everything I write I am never afraid of putting my name to it unlike the bullying writer of the piece and that is the big problem nowadays.  Whenever somebody stands up and points the accusing finger at some institution or practice, there is always some bully ready to beat that person down and that kind of bullying is normally of institutional origin.

Take for example the bullying going on around socialist politicians and antisemitism that we have seen for the last few weeks.  Given that the word semite now no longer refers to people speaking a semitic language ie hebrew or arabic, an anti -Semite has morphed into a person who does not like Jews.  Now I know I am not the sharpest knife in the box, but why is it abominable to be prejudiced against the Jews but you can be anti-Palestinian, anti- North Korean, anti- American, anti-Irish, anti-Chinese, anti-British even.  In fact in some countries you can be jailed for being anti-Semitic.  Certainly you could easily lose your job looking at the numbers of socialist politicians who have been shown the door these days.  That nutter Ken Livingstone was ejected from the Labour Party because he said Hitler had an agreement with the Jews in the 1930s.  That remark even when it is undeniably and  historically true was classed as anti-Semitic.  The statement made some time ago now by Naz Shah, MP for Bradford and said with tongue definitely in cheek that the best place for Jews would be in the middle of America was also classed as anti-Semitic and she was divested of Party.

This makes me think that that which is classed as anti-Semite is organised institutional bullying.  Because the Jews or really in this instance the Zionists own 95% of the media, it is easy for them to lead a campaign of this nature and it was clever of the media to bring this debate up just before the local council elections.  The media helped to a great extent by the Tories and the Socialist MPs who came from Blairism and not Corbynism have created this recent elephant in the room.  Someone please tell me why you can be prejudiced against virtually anything and anybody but you cannot be prejudiced against a Jew.  To be an anti-Semite is to end your grip on life and everybody accepts that without consideration.  The world is fucking barmy.

Two Weeks Of Trauma – Part 3

Monday 18th April

An early phone call from Galway ICU telling us not to come down as Helen was  being bundled into an ambulance and being taken back to Sligo and to ring Sligo ICU that afternoon.  I rang at 4.00pm and was told that Helen had arrived but that we could not see her.  There was still a lockdown because of the Novo virus and no visitors.  We, ie. Paddy Jo, Danny, Helena and myself cleaned the house in readiness for her release.  We sat and talked, some of us drank wine, others tea.

Tuesday 19th April

We rang at 10.00am but still given a bum’s rush by the ward only news that she was improving.  She also got the hang of her new mobile phone and was able to accept calls from us.  She was in good spirits and sad to hear Paddy had to get back to Dublin today.

Wednesday 20th April

Restrictions were relaxed, we piled in the car and went down to Sligo.  I wheeled her down to x-ray for a scan on her kidneys and another sonar something or other.  Helen was in great form and anxious to come home.  We stayed a couple of hours and came home.  Later that day Helen rang and told me the wound in her groin was infected again and that she had to go down for further surgery to cut away the dead skin and flesh, both sides were blaming the other hospital for this further infection.  By now after three invasions at this spot the wound was large and deep and causing some concern to the nursing staff.

Thursday 21st April

We went down early but refused entry by a seemingly paranoid ward sister who in all fairness was only doing her job.  So back home it was another 70 miles on mileometer for nothing but at least we were able to pass on to the sister some change of clothing for Helen.  She rang me that evening to ask me alone to come in the following morning to see the doctor.

Friday 22nd April

A phone call at 8.30am from the consultant Dr Finan asking me to be available at the ward at 10.00am as she would like to speak to me.  I was there and she led me into Helen’s room, by this time I was shaking a little, it all seemed to serious.  Dr Finan sat me down next to Helen and explained how her heart was good, damage to the left wall which would heal itself in time and working at 75% efficiency which again would improve.  There was no need for any further action in that area.  They were very pleased with the outcome.

The groin wound was large and would take some time to heal, there was signs that the infection had been beaten but care, rest and nutrition was needed in hospital for at least another week if not longer.  The results of the scan on her kidneys done on Wednesday was not that good because a spot had been found which could either be a cyst, which was no harm or it could be a cancerous growth but only a urologist would know and a date was fixed to see her on Tuesday 26th April.  Dr Finan explained that she was going on holiday but that another consultant had been asked to manage Helen over the next week.  Helen was not in the least worried by this news that had only been discovered by chance and had nothing at all to do with her condition.  She said to me quitely that she had taken her GC Maff which had come from Switzerland some weeks before and that had cured her arthritis. GC Maff is a new drug that reboots the body’s immune system and is mainly used as a cancer cure but it is banned in England and Ireland probably because it is too good and if allowed to be given to all would spoil the cancer industry, which is massive.

Saturday 23rd April

Restrictions back on, Danny and Helena had to go back to Bradford with the kids.  I was now on my own and feeling it.  My e-mailing list had grown to large proportion and I spent my day assuring everybody that things were good and that Helen should be out in about a week’s time.

Sunday 24th April

Still no visiting and Helen was going up the wall with boredom and hospital life.  She had refused them any more blood tests or any other invasion of her body.  She wanted out and would willingly sign herself out.  The temporary consultant was called out and he spent an hour with Helen and the nursing sister discussing the case.  Helen wanted to go, the sister wanted her to stay, the consultant was ambivalent but took Helen’s forthrightness into consideration and told Helen to ring me and for me to be at the hospital at 9.00am the following morning when he would look at her condition then and decide.

Monday 25th April

I was there at the appointed time, Helen had been moved to a medical ward the previous night and after short time the doctor arrived followed by entourage.  Again he made a half hearted attempt to persuade Helen to stay but the bit was between her teeth, she smelled the fresh air, like a young horse kept in the stable for winter, she was bucking, there was no stopping her.  However formalities had to be overcome.  It was arranged now that the urologist would see her in out-patients in a couple of weeks time, the district nurse had to be contacted and daily visits to dress the wound had to be arranged.  Also her long forgotten heart would be further inspected in out-patients in a months time and that was arranged.  Prescriptions had to be written out, letters had to be written.  All of which took several hours.  We shared the hospital lunch, which was very good.  Helen had always said the old story about rotten hospital food certainly did not apply in either Galway or Sligo.  Eventually at 3.00pm we were released.  Was I glad to get her home.  She was looking ten years younger, she weighed 62 kilos and was looking great.  It was her positivity that had made this happen.

Tuesday to Sunday 26th April to 1st May

Daily visits from some very able district nurses as the wound slowly started to heal.  On Tuesday Helen was very tired and subdued but by Sunday she was yelling out orders for me.  Neighbours came round knowing by her shouts that she was home.  Things were slowly returning to normal.  I kept the kids informed on a daily basis.  Again it was time for reflection and time to count our lucky stars that she was where she was when it happened.  In chronological order I would like to thank the following for helping to bring my dear wife back to me.

  1. Dr Barry Cosgrove of Boyle Health Centre
  2. The Acute Assessment Unit at Sligo Hospital
  3. The Resuscitation Team at Sligo Hospital
  4. Dr Kathleen Finan at Sligo Hospital
  5. The two helicopter pilots who took her to Galway
  6. Mary Menton and Robin for driving me to Galway that first day
  7. All the staff of the Intensive Care Unit at Galway Hospital
  8. All my children for dropping everything and scurrying to Galway
  9. Mr Gerry Hallahan of Ballyvourney in Cork
  10. Mr Shay Livinstone of the Connaught Hotel in Galway
  11. All the staff of the Intensive Care Unit at Sligo hospital
  12. All our friends and neighbours who showed concern.  We have had e-mails, letters and cards from Australia, Greece, Morocco, France, Spain Sweden, England, all over Ireland, America and Canada.  We thank you ever so much.

Improvement, relaxation, sleep and a glass or two of wine are the order of the day as Helen returns to normality and we thank our lucky stars.  Helen had masses of instruments and screens to aid her recovery, Lazarus only had Jesus but I do not believe that old baloney.  Do you?