Wednesday, April 22, 2020

IT took three Order of Malta ambulances to transport and deliver over 150 care packages, packed to the brim with items generously donated to a wish list for HSE Healthcare Heroes at University Hospital Waterford (UHW).

Clinical Specialist Radiographer Doireann Shanahan-Ball said almost €7,000 worth of items were donated through her Amazon wish list, and in addition she received an amazing response to her Mulligan’s Pharmacy ‘Click and Collect’ order.

Among the items generously donated were 100 pairs of wipeable shoes, 300 cosmetic face masks, 250 shower gels, 150 deodorants, 30 irritation skin creams, 40 Bio gel ointments, 50 tubes of toothpaste, 250 toothbrushes, 700 lip balms and hand cream, 250 Vitamins Oxylent multivitamin sachets by ambermed.ie, 80 Clarins gifts bags, Vichy products, 150 moisturisers, 70 bottles of shampoo and conditioner, five Shaving foams and 100 pairs of socks. Food was donated from Quench café, St Anne’s Tennis Club and Wholelivingnutrition, while the public also donated chocolate, biscuits, tins of hot chocolate and large boxes of chocolate.

“We definitely had over 150 care packs for our HSE Healthcare Heroes in UHW. I am hoping I managed to send a care pack to over 80 departments ranging from laundry and porters to ICU and Pine Ward,” a delighted Doireann said.

Along with essential items, most packs contained gifts donated by Makeup Artist Diane Everrett and items organised by Mulligan’s Pharmacy, including Clarins gift sets which had a beautiful message of thanks to staff, along with a bag of sweets organised by Doireann’s three boys Ruadhán (9), Tiarnan (7) and Ólan (3).

Social distancing meant that her 17 extended families members couldn’t help with the packing, but thankfully her husband was on hand to do the heavy lifting as Doireann is limited in movement since her spinal surgery.

“Ruadhán organised a lot of the itinerary with me which was great as there was lots of hidden maths in there. Tiarnan helped writing on each bag and he even wrote a small message on some. Ólan helped his brothers and I organise the food donations and they especially enjoyed organising the sweets,” she added.

Faced with the challenge of delivering the care packs she called on her brother Lieut. Cillian Shanahan, an active member of the Waterford Order of Malta. “The Order of Malta agreed to help straight away. When I asked for three ambulances they managed to pull extra crews together at 8am that morning. The three Order of Malta ambulances were packed to the very brim,” she said.

At UHW Doireann’s colleagues from Radiology assisted with unloading the ambulances.

Doireann is overwhelmed with the generosity of the Waterford people. “The quantity of gifts donated by them has surpassed any expectations I could have dreamed of. I am so proud to be a Waterford woman and be part of such unbreakable community spirit,” she said.

In response to the kind donation Doireann has received hundreds of thankful private messages from the staff of UHW. “I cannot believe a spur of the moment video from my bedroom has helped so many frontliners. This whole initiative has really helped distract my family and I during such difficult times. It has helped me feel that I am helping my colleagues in some small way while I can’t physically be by their sides.

“I am also so proud and thankful of John O’ Shea and his wife Yvonne Manning and their huge donation and Keith Barry for giving the staff of UHW something to look forward to when these difficult times are over. It shows the appreciation we all have for the sacrifices made by our HSE healthcare workers.”

So many local and national businesses have donated in some way, including Dealz Lisduggan, Ardkeen Quality Food Stores, and Britvic. Waterford schools and clubs like St. Declan’s National school staff and teachers, St. Paul’s Scout Group, Bohemians FC, Waterford County Scout Group and Surprise Surprise Dungarvan have also kindly donated.

“I cannot thank Mulligan’s Pharmacy and staff for their huge input. The kindness and hard work from all of their staff over the past few weeks really cannot go unmentioned. Mulligan’s encouraged suppliers to get involved in my initiative without hesitation. Local businesses have supported us through these dark times and we really need to support them when this has all ended,” she said.

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