Limerick family completes journey to Perth in memory of Covid victim John

Limerick family completes journey to Perth in memory of Covid victim John

The late John Fitzgerald’s wife Eileen, son Simon, daughter Kelly and grandson Kai hand over equipment from a Journey for John to UHL staff

AS our country takes another step towards returning to normality it is poignant to remember all who have lost their lives to Coronavirus.

One was John Fitzgerald who passed away in the care of the incredible ICU staff in UHL on January 27. He was only in his sixties. Originally from Mungret, John moved to Crecora but he was loved wherever he went.

The Fitzgerald family wanted to show their gratitude for the care and compassion the staff showed John in his final days. Their Journey for John began. His family set up GoFundMe and Facebook pages and embarked on a 15,051km virtual walk to Perth.


It was the journey John himself was looking forward to the most, to meet his newest grandson Jackson, but sadly never got the chance to make.  

Ellen Moloney, a niece of John’s, said they asked the frontline staff in the ICU to provide a wish list of items that would make a real difference to the staff and patients in their care. The response to the fundraiser surpassed all the family’s expectations with their first two targets being reached within days. In total, an incredible €27,000 was raised.

“Thanks to the generosity of so many people who donated we were able to provide every item on the nurses’ wish list,” said Ellen. 

Last Wednesday, the Fitzgeralds delivered the items to the hospital and many of the staff met outside to receive the items and show their gratitude. It was a very special day for the Fitzgeralds who were reunited with some of the nurses and doctors who cared for John in his final days.  

The items delivered were 12 new iPads to ensure patients can videocall their families and allow staff speak face-to-face with concerned family members. 28 table-top mirrors for each bed in ICU and HDU. IV arm and mannequin screening equipment worth €15k to facilitate training newer staff. 

16 Get to Know Me boards to inform staff of personal information about the patient so they will be able to see past their critical care needs. A Littman’s core digital stethoscope; 50 Fairy Footprint memory boxes to families who have lost a loved one in ICU; medical books and 200 care packs for frontline workers.

Ellen said none of this would have been possible without the generosity of so many people.  

“Thank you to Eithne O’Riordan of EM Services, Adare; Aideen Fitzpatrick of Elm Court, Ballyneety; Pat Lucey of Aspira Consulting and It Services, Cork; and O’Brien Facilities, Limerick for sponsoring iPads. Thank you to Zoni Jatt for providing iPad covers and screen protectors. Thank you to Ziaja skincare, BPerfect, Sweet King, Spicy B and Aiden Corcoran of Lynoslife pharmacy whose donations have provided 200 incredible care packs for our frontline heroes.  

“A final thank you to everyone who has given their time, walked in all weathers and generously donated to our Journey for John. We are incredibly grateful to you all for helping us to show our thanks to our frontline staff in honour of an incredible gentleman who would be so proud of what has been done in his name,” said Ellen.

The Fitzgerald family was named the Limerick Persons of the Month for February.


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