New Oncology Unit opens thanks to James Gill Trust

by Amy Rohu
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Continuing his legacy, eight years after his death from cancer, The James Gill memorial Trust committee were delighted to be able to donate a cheque of €30,000 to support the renovation of the Oncology Day Ward in Tallaght University Hospital, writes Amy Rohu.

Speaking at the event, Geraldine Gill, James’ mother said: “Our hearts are broken. On this day, eight-years ago we said goodbye to James. It is a fitting tribute to be here today and open the new oncology ward on his anniversary. We know this ward will be a bigger, brighter and much more spacious one for patients, a huge improvement on the old ward, which was very small, cramped and had no privacy for the nurses and doctors who had to talk to the patients and their families. I want to thank everyone involved and pay tribute to all those in the Foundation who helped us deliver this for TUH.”

She continued to pay tribute to James’ main doctors in this hospital: “I want to thank Dr Paul Ridgeway, Professor Ray McDermott and Phyllis the tea lady. Phyllis was like a mother to him when I wasn’t with him. A massive big thank you to all the staff, especially the nurses who looked after him like their own little brother. They helped him study for his Leaving Cert and his Nursing Course which he passed but sadly he never got to see the certificate. We have it proudly on the wall at home.”

Commenting on the opening, Douglas Collins, Chief Executive of the TUHF said: “We want to extend a massive thank you to the James Gill Memorial Trust and James’ family. Thanks to their generosity and commitment, we can reflect the standard of our patient care with modern bright and facilities that offer comfort and the best possible experience when receiving treatment.”

James, from Ballinteer in Dublin, was 17 when he fell ill with flu-like symptoms in 2010. He was later diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer that typically affects young adolescents.

He underwent extensive treatment and in 2012 and was deemed suitable for potentially lifesaving, pioneering treatment in the US.

His family and friends quickly began fundraising and collected €80,000 to cover his expenses. Sadly, James’ condition deteriorated, and he passed away in May 2013.

Following his death, his devastated parents Declan and Geraldine decided to put the funds raised for his US trip to create a chill-out room in St Vincent’s Hospital and a new family room in the Mater Hospital. They have also donated funds to Sligo hospital, Sligo Hospice and St Luke’s, and now Tallaght University Hospital.

PHOTO CAPTION – From L-R; Heather Sloane CNM Oncology Day Unit, Prof. Ray McDermott, Oncology,  Anne Marie O’Shea, Oncology Research Nurse and Family,  Carl Gill, Declan Gill, Stephen Gill and Geraldine Gill.

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