Winning author Peg Prendeville, centre, with Pat Quinlan CEO and Joanne Callinan both of Milford Care Centre
PUBLISHED poet and librarian, Peg Prendeville from Glin, has won herself another literary riband and her short story Goodbye Grandad has taken first prize in a competition organised by the Milford Care Centre.
The competition was organised to co-incide with Palliative Care Week last September, a week during which the Milford Care Centre organised a range of events to promote awareness of palliative care services and the benefits of availing of such care early on.
The staff at Milford are only too aware that many people on a personal level have had positive experiences of the palliative care services.
Yet, they are also aware, Dr Martina O’Reilly explains, that there are still many myths and fears out there.
“Palliative care focuses on helping people of all ages to live well with an illness that’s life-limiting and achieve the best quality of life as their illness progresses. It involves not only the management of pain and other symptoms but offers social, emotional and spiritual support too.”
In a bid to raise awareness of the breadth of the services, the idea of a competition was born, asking people to write a poem, short story or create a video in which they would reflect on the meaning of palliative care for them.
The theme was ‘What have you heard about palliative care’.
Peg Prendeville’s winning story goes right to the heart of it, focusing on her main character, young Laura whose grandad is ill and not likely to recover. Realising this, she asks his doctor, what can be done to make him more comfortable and to take away his fear. And he replies: “What have you heard about palliative care?
From then on until his last breath, Grandad was visited by a palliative care nurse, supporting him, and his family as he ended his journey.
Peg, who runs Glin library and whose poetry collection is called The Purple Pencil Case, was presented with two tickets to an Ed Sheeran concert.
Runners up in the competition were Palliative Care for Tim, a story by Pauline Campbell, Limerick and The Easel, a story by Rowena Edwards from Clare.