Hands Up for unique Slieve Gullion fundraiser

April 28, 2014

by Christine Keighery

As the excitement continues to build for next Sunday’s unique charity event, Hands Up Slieve Gullion, The Examiner profiles the final two worthy services  which are in line to benefit from the unprecedented attempt to create a chain of hands up to the summit of Slieve Gullion mountain.

This major logistical challenge calls on two thousand  volunteers to take part so that the imaginative fundraiser can raise some much needed donations for Newry and Mourne Diabetic Group, Southern Area Hospice, Musgrave Orthopaedic Unit and the Royal Victoria Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.

This week we profile Musgrave Orthopaedic Unit and the Royal Victoria Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit to hear how these vital services have provided life-saving care to local people during serious illness and debilitating conditions.

Lend a hand for the Royal Intensive Care Unit

With the phrase ‘your health is your wealth’ so often used these days, it could be said that most of us never really take time to fully appreciate what these words mean. Indeed, negative press surrounding NHS services can often overshadow the extraordinary accounts of life-saving care provided by services such as the Royal Intensive Care unit.

Patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) require constant medical attention and a high degree of medical expertise including access to highly trained nurses and specialised monitory equipment. All of these expensive and limited resources are used to treat over 1,500 seriously ill patients in the Royal ICU each year.

One such person who availed of this medical care in the Royal Intensive Unit was local man, James Treanor, retired lecturer in Newry Technical College. His wife Mary, daughters Niamh and Aoife and son Ronan remember all too well the day their lives changed forever when James suffered a massive subarachnoid brain haemorrhage.

According to daughter Niamh, Tuesday 18th June 2013 had begun like any other working day for the Treanor family as they went about their usual routines, unaware of the sudden trauma that was to befall their beloved dad.

“With no prior symptoms and the rapid deterioration of dad’s condition we felt totally powerless but for the immediate assistance sought from the ambulance service and hospital, whom we are indebted to” says Niamh.

“The Regional Intensive Care Unit (REVIVE), based at the Royal hospital, provided critical care which dad required in his unstable condition.

“With very little time to process dad’s diagnosis, subsequent procedures and his movement to the Intensive Care unit, we were indeed overwhelmed and daunted by the uncertainty of his recovery.

“The staff in the Intensive Care Unit not only provided exceptional treatment to dad, they offered my family tremendous support, gentle assistance and tried to reassure us as best they could on possible treatments.

“Not only did we have first hand experience in the unit, we also witnessed the tireless efforts of the specialist doctors, nurses and auxiliary staff in their efforts to treat patients and support other families in times of distress and despair.  We are truly appreciative to all the staff in the Intensive Care Unit and continue to celebrate dad’s recovery.”

Niamh and the Treanor family continue to appeal for participants to support the fundraising effort on Slieve Gullion.

As Niamh says,

“You never know the day or hour when the Royal Intensive Care Unit might be your only hope for a loved one.  My dad’s brain haemorrhage was a mountainous challenge to overcome so please reach out and help us to make a human chain up Slieve Gullion Mountain for these outstanding causes.”

Musgrave Orthopaedic Unit vital in local man’s uphill battle to mobility

Living with daily pain and adjusting to prohibited mobility can feel like an uphill battle for many of the 70,000 patients in the UK who undergo hip and knee replacement surgery each year.

The Orthopaedic Unit in Musgrave Park Hospital Belfast is one of the leading orthopaedic and musculoskeletal centres of excellence in all of Europe. It consists of 6 orthopaedic wards; 4 adult wards, 1 children’s ward and a spinal injuries ward. With the help of the committed, highly trained surgeons and nurses of Musgrave Park Hospital, many of the patients leave the hospital with a better outcome, and much more knowledge of the good, attentive and caring work carried out by its staff.

One man who knows the importance of this facility is Mickey Treanor. Mickey had a full knee replacement in May 2012 at Musgrave Park Hospital and has returned to work and continues his role as the Kit-man for Armagh Senior GAA Team.

With his quality of life much improved and his football commitments continuing unabated, Mickey feels his recovery is testament to the level of care Musgrave Park Hospital provides for its patients. “I really appreciate the care and attention the staff in Musgrave gave me, they are a busy hospital & people place high expectations on their service. I feel the hospital needs some recognition for the high quality service they provide” says Mickey.

Within the Belfast Trust in 2012, there were more than 797 people waiting for knee and hip replacements, showing a 100% rise in hip and knee operation waiting lists. It is a non-emergency service therefore it doesn’t receive as much attention as some other services, but for patients who have undergone a knee or hip replacement it is a vital service which goes a long way to improve the quality of patients’ lives.

Walkers: Information for Hands Up Slieve Gullion

Walkers:  If you have registered to walk please use car park 1.  (Mc Parland’s farmland)

All walkers must meet at Grounded Car Park to commence their walk at 9am.

Participants using the shuttle buses:  Parking facilities are available at three different locations:  please see map.  Buses will commence from 9.30am onwards.  If you require parking facilities for wheelchair access please e-mail prior to Sunday 4th May to discuss car park access.

E.g. If you are travelling from the Newry/ Killeavy direction use car park 1.  (Mc Parland’s)

If you are travelling from the Dromintee/ surrounding areas use car park 2. (Mc Quaid’s)

If you are travelling from the Forkhill/ surrounding areas use car park 3. (Mc Creesh’s, Three Steps)

We advise all participants to remember to bring their registration numbers, a bottle of water with them and if you are going to the top section of the mountain please arrive in plenty of time!  Please co-operate with all stewards.