Staff at St John’s Hospital in Limerick have let their feet do the talking to declare their pride in Operation Transformation colleague Hazel Hartigan as the final episode of the 2021 series approaches.
Some 60 or so staff at the 89-bed acute public voluntary hospital – a registered charity - put their best feet forward by taking on the Jerusalema social media challenge in snow, sunshine and on the corridors over the past 10 days.
The move was inspired by and dedicated to nurse Hazel Hartigan for her courage and commitment as one of the Leaders of this year’s RTÉ Operation Transformation show.
Speaking following the launch of the video on social media, Emer Martin CEO of St John's Hospital said that Hazel has inspired everyone in the hospital and has helped them get through the worst of the current wave.
“Hazel has been an inspiration to all of us. She made such a brave decision, stepped out of her comfort zone and everyone here has got a great bounce from it. It came at a time when we really needed it as the past six weeks and more has been a huge test for us in terms of trying to manage the worst Covid wave," she said.
“We were flattened as a hospital last April and thought we’d never be able to face that level of intensity again. What we just experienced was as bad for us if not worse but the staff got through and Hazel’s Operation Transformation journey was such a brilliant distraction and inspiration for them," she added.
Ms Martin said that when the idea was mooted by staff to take on the Jerusalema dance, there was a huge response and the timing was perfect with the Operation Transformation series coming to a close.
“The only timing that wasn’t right was that we put the arrangements in place to do it last week on the day the snow fell. But the staff just got on with it. There was great fun learning the dance and it really was great fun doing it. We might not win dancing awards, but I think we’d win team spirit awards. Everyone just got stuck in. We shot it off our phones and then we did a few extra shots this week in corridors and outside the hospital, happily this time with the sun shining. The biggest challenge was getting the time to do it," said Ms Martin.