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Mark's birthday Fundraiser for the Mercy Hospital, in Memory of Mary Veronica Adams
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Mark's birthday Fundraiser for the Mercy Hospital, in Memory of Mary Veronica Adams

€ 355.00

Target : € 500.00
From 6 fantastic supporters DONATIONS AVAILABLE UNTIL 14 Sep 2021

Mark's birthday Fundraiser for the Mercy Hospital, in Memory of Mary Veronica Adams

Fundraising For Mercy University Hospital Foundation
Latest Update !!

In loving memory of Mary Veronica Adams


if you know me or if you knew my Mum, it would mean a lot if you would consider this

this is a personal appeal for your support in raising awareness and funds for a new project by the Mercy Hospital Foundation

their mission is to promote the work of the hospital, to raise funds for vital equipment and help bring new treatments and services to the Mercy

the Mercy Hospital Foundation are a non-profit charity — they are located in Cork, their work serves the people of Cork

2 years ago, the Mercy Hospital Foundation created and funded a new role at the Mercy Hospital in Cork

this person is known as a ‘Psycho-Oncologist’ — her work is the idea that needs our support

the idea behind Psycho-Oncology is to offer a dedicated Therapist to support the mental health of cancer patients and their families

she provides emotional support, comforting and giving counsel to cancer patients and their families at every stage of the illness

this role is not the same as a Psychiatrist assessing you in a clinical manner and prescribing strong medications — it is different

the lady who does this work is similar to a Counsellor — her approach is humanistic, her work is tailored to the individual needs of each patient

until now, the Psycho-Oncologist role at the Mercy has been 100% funded by the Mercy Hospital Foundation

it is a new service, it is considered experimental — to date the HSE do not fund it

for 2 years the feedback has been extremely positive — this lady makes a real difference to the people of Cork

but the HSE funding is not there yet — so the Mercy need support to keep it going

this year I am asking your help in supporting this new and vital project, in memory of my Mum

our Mum’s name is Mary Veronica Adams, her friends called her Vera

she was an amazing lady, the heart of our family

it is her birthday on August 29th, she would have been 77 this year

mine was August 22nd, I have just turned 36

we used to celebrate them together, as one

our birthdays were never fancy, but I loved them

Dad would go to Blarney and get Chinese, Tung Sing or Golden Panda

Mum would make a birthday cake and butterfly buns

I would get 2 or 3 videos with my birthday money, later it was DVDs

we would watch them either side of Corrie, Mum’s favourite show

she was born in Cork in 1944, during a time of great hardship in Ireland

food was rationed until 1951, most families in Cork struggled back then

she was a Coughlan, the youngest of eight — Sheila, Derry, John, Bill, Noel, Irene, Brendan and Mum

they were raised in Ballyphehane, on Kent road

Mum left Ireland in 1960, for Crystal Palace in London

she did not want to leave Cork, but she did not have much choice

conditions in Ireland were not good at this time, especially for women

she was highly intelligent, but women in Ireland did not have the same access to education or employment

while living in the UK, Mum had 4 daughters with her first husband, our sisters Susan, Jackie, Deborah and Nicola

after her first marriage ended, she met our Dad, Stephen

they married and had 3 sons — Andrew, Jonathan and me

it is a very particular experience, growing up in Cardiff and Wycombe, knowing mostly Welsh or English, but living under the roof of an eccentric Cork woman

we did not have much money, we were always skint — but thanks to her wizardry we ate better than most families

my brothers and I were born in the 80s, in Wales and England, but reared on old time Cork dishes

when most families around us lived on stuff from freezer shops like Iceland, Mum was cooking dishes like bacon and cabbage, Irish stew, slow roast pork belly, smoked haddock, steak & kidney casserole and skirts & kidneys

this stuff might not sound very exciting to younger people, but for us this was soul food

we were very lucky, our meals were always made with fresh ingredients and cooked from scratch

the only dish we do not miss is liver and onions, that one was not nice

Mum was an excellent baker as well — she made soda bread, doughnuts and proper Irish scones routinely, like it was nothing

our family did not have a lot of money, but she managed everything so well that we had no idea

we wanted for nothing — every Birthday, Easter and Christmas was happy and special

she was the family’s accountant and historian, a skilled seamstress and home maker

Mum was always on standby for family and friends if they needed help, the fire was always lit (even in summer)

she was a fantastic story teller who could talk for Ireland, a joker who loved to laugh

our Mum was extremely cheeky and sort of fearless, as most Cork people are

in UK she met the likes of David Jason, Nicholas Lyndhurst and Prince Charles

she was friendly to each of them, but showed them the same respect she would a randomer on the street — no more, no less

in effect this meant Mum had the craic with them, poking fun at them as though they were ordinary blokes in a cafe, which they actually appreciated

our Mum was a real character, 5 foot tall yet somehow larger than life — spirited but kind, mischievous, extremely funny — the spirit of Cork manifest

we did not move to Ireland until I was 9, but through her Cork was always a big part of our lives

Mum and Dad first brought us to visit Cork in May 1990, we visited every summer after that

we really loved these visits — Cork was a lot nicer than the places we were living in UK

the places we lived before moving to Ireland were very crowded and built up, a lot of concrete and tarmac, a bit grim

on these trips to Cork, Mum made sure to introduce us to the good stuff — things like Irish dairy, crusty bread, Taytos, Cork style Battenbergs, Tanora and Kerrygold

some of that stuff is probably sold in England and Wales today, back then you just could not get it

she talked about Jackie Lennoxs often, we knew this chipper long before we set foot in Ireland — it was so exciting to finally visit this place

in total Mum spent 34 years of her life in England, Cyprus and Wales, before returning to Cork in July 1994 with my Dad, my brothers and I

our Mum was a really kind, thoughtful, loving and generous person

she really loved her children, her family and her friends — she always put everyone ahead of herself

she would always worry about us and protect us, her mission in life was to make sure we were always happy, healthy and safe

she had a hard life, but overcame every challenge and obstacle put in front of her and her family, achieving many things in her time with us

Mum fell ill at the end of December 2014, it was very sudden

she had a fever, then respiratory attack

she had been losing weight for a few months prior, but it coincided with advice she had taken on her diet

we honestly did not know what was happening, we did not see it coming

we thought it was Bronchitis, something she had trouble with before

she fought bravely and selflessly — she was in incredible pain, but she did not let us see it, as she did not want us to be upset

she declined hospice care and, through sheer force of will, her health improved — the doctors could not explain it

she beat the odds one more time and returned to the family home after 4 weeks, with her husband, daughters and sons around her

her only worries were for us, not herself, and to bring the family together again one last time

Mum passed away on the morning of February 9th 2015, in the Mercy Hospital

Mum was 70 when we lost her, I was 29

the Mercy took very good care of her, particularly the Nurses and Orderlies in Oncology

when Mum was sick, I was already attending counselling separately — I had some support to help me through it

but there was no dedicated service to support Mum or Dad, my brothers or my sisters

back then, the support that the Psycho-Oncologist now offers was provided informally, by the Nurses, the Orderlies and by Mum herself

they did so well

the work of Nurses is highly skilled, hospitals are always busy and resources always stretched

Nurses in particular are always rushed off of their feet — but they always made special time to care for Mum on a human level

these efforts by the Nurses and Orderlies were so important — they really humanised the hospital experience for Mum

on any given day, it was as though Mum had 3 or 4 extra children to entertain and comfort her

they talked to her, joked with her, made her laugh, gave compliments that made her smile, always made sure she felt safe and happy

the new Psycho-Oncologist role is important for this reason — it recognises the unseen work of the Nurses and Orderlies at the Mercy, the human side of hospital care

this person specifically supports the mental health of cancer patients and their partners, children, brothers, sisters and parents

she provides for the psychological, emotional, social and spiritual needs of every patient

nothing is forced or mandated — the Psycho-Oncologist is a human resource, her focus is talk therapies

whether newly diagnosed, receiving treatment, in remission or nearing death, she is there to take care of the mental health of patients and families

with her help, patients and their families are better able to process grief, to express what they are feeling, to manage their emotions and to better cope with the anxiety

with permission she will advocate and coordinate support for the patient, working with other agencies and services to make sure all needs are met

she supports patients who have difficulty coping with their diagnosis, with side-effects of medications and the adverse effects of cancer treatment

she takes care of people with phobias — if you are afraid of needles, Doctors, surgeries or the clinical environment, she will help you to cope

she does not push medications, however she does support patients with pain management, quality of sleep and stress

if a patient is suffering and needs relief, she will connect with Doctors to ensure they are aware and that the patient has timely access to remedies

these services are available to cancer patients and their partners, siblings, parents and children for as long as they are needed — her support is extensive

her role offers a listening ear, comfort, counsel and a support structure that otherwise was not consistently there

please believe me when I say, your money will not disappear into the ether

all funds raised here will specifically support this Psycho-Oncologist project, to keep it going until HSE funding is achieved

the Mercy Hospital Foundation are not a faceless and expensively operated mega charity

the Mercy Hospital Foundation are a non-profit charity — they are local, they serve the people of Cork

their work grows and improves what is available for us at the hospital, what they do is important

every donation here will make a difference, our contribution will count for so much more

if you would please consider donating and helping the Mercy with this idea, it would mean the world

if you cannot donate to this one I understand — the pandemic is going on a long time, money is tight and people are tired

there is much less charity happening in recent months, compared to last year — there is fatigue, things are beginning to creak

if you cannot donate today, please consider 'liking' and following the Mercy Hospital Foundation on Facebook, to support their work in future

please discuss the foundation with friends — the Mercy has taken care of Cork since 1857, yet they have fewer followers than most pubs, cafés and take aways

there is nothing wrong with supporting pubs, cafés and take aways — but why not support the Mercy as well

if you consider the role the Mercy has played in Cork, a county of half a million people — they deserve more than 8,000 followers

if you would like to raise funds for the Mercy in future, you can call them and they will tell you what the hospital is working on

the ladies who run it are really nice, their names are Deirdre and Nicola

in the beginning I was asking did they want a Nespresso machine or something — I am clueless

they were both so nice to talk to, they told me about their latest projects and this one made perfect sense

they will send you information, help you with paperwork and check in with you to make sure you have the support you need

this idea would not be possible if not for them

to give the effort a boost, I have asked my old work if they can help, if this effort is eligible for a charity program that they are doing

they have agreed to match all donations 1 for 1 — every euro donated here will be matched by them, up to a maximum of €8,500

now that I am aware of the Psycho-Oncology role, it hurts that this support was not quite there at the time

Mum never gave up on life — she declined hospice care and fought for her life, until the very end

but for those 6 weeks she knew — it was too advanced, it had traveled to different parts of her body

we cried often, in the corridors and at her bedside

Mum did not cry at all — she was far too busy being our Mum

from start to finish she put on a brave face for us, comforting and counselling all of us in her final days

we will always love Mum for that, how selfless she was — but it should not have to be this way

it hurts that Mum did not have much opportunity to say she is afraid, to talk about death, to find context and make peace with it

some day everyone in Ireland will know this ‘Psycho-Oncology’ role, its importance to cancer patients and their families will be common knowledge

today is not the day — but what we do here would be a step towards it

if you are sensitive to mental health, if you advocate for it

if you are a friend of Pieta, Samaritans and the mentally ill

if you have ever attended a Counselling session and felt its relief

if you have ever witnessed cancer burn through family or friend, if it has taken someone from you as well

if you or someone you love ever received care at the Mercy, if they took good care of you

if you knew my Mum, if you ever experienced her kindness and enjoyed her humour

if you are from Ballyphehane, if you knew the Coughlans of Kent Road

if you know me from Blarney or Tower, Whitechurch, Rathpeacon, Blackpool, Ballincollig, Douglas, Bishopstown or Glanmire

if you are a friend from the market towns — Clonakilty, Mallow and Fermoy

if you are a friend from Tralee, Cahirsiveen or Portmagee, Wexford, Longford or Dublin

if you are a friend from the fruit factory on Hollyhill, if we know each other from AHA

if we were friends or neighbours during my time in the city — if you know me from Barrack Street or MacCurtain Street

if you have ever experienced Cork — if you know the beauty of this place and the charm of its people

please consider donating to this — for my Mum and for the Nurses and Orderlies who took such good care of her

I am trying my best, but it will not count for much without your support

every donation will make a real difference — please help us with this effort if you can

Ireland has gone fairly Atheist in the last decade or two, so this next bit will make me look like an idiot

I am baptised Catholic, non-practicing but culturally Catholic, Agnostic within that context

please respect this, do not make fun or give me a hard time

please try to understand, Agnostics must always hedge their bets

and Mum would have loved this, so if there is even 1% chance, I have to say it


I have no idea if there is anything after, or if there is any trace of you here

I wish it were so easy as Star Wars, that we could see you and know you are happy and safe

we love you so much, to the moon and stars and back again

we will never forget you Mum — you were our heart, the glue that kept us together

the Doctors were recommending the hospice, they only gave you two weeks

you changed their tune — they said there was no medical explanation for it

you defied the science, you are the reason we believe in something more

I am so sorry I was not there when you first woke, I think about it every day

I did not think you would notice, I thought I would get away with it

I had done too many nights Mum, my neck and back were so sore from the chair, I was so tired

you were sleeping so soundly, your health was up

we thought they were getting smaller again, your temperature was down

the Doctors had started saying you could live for 6 months or more

I did not know it was your last night, I honestly did not know

we thought you had weeks left, possibly months

you always seemed to have another week in you, it could never get a grip on you

I was never as strong as you, I just needed one smoke and two hours in a bed

I thought I would be back before you woke up, I thought it would be okay

when the Nurse called I ran — I never stopped running, I swear to God

thank you for hanging on for me, I am so sorry you woke up alone

thank you for fighting as long as you did, for all of us — you were so brave

it would have been so much worse for us if you did not fight it, there would have been no time

most would have taken the comfort, calm and quiet dignity of the hospice — you kept going

you created the time we needed to rally around you, you made it possible for us to say goodbye

even when you were dying, you were strong for all of us

you are a modern miracle, we will never know how you managed it

you did so well Mum, thank you for bringing us together again

we will never forget you Mum — for as long as a McNeely, Adams or Coughlan is here, we will keep your memory

that is everything

if your Mum is still around and ye get on, I would recommend giving her a call or visiting her

I hope everything I have said here makes sense, that it was not difficult to follow

please excuse my writing, I find it extremely difficult to read and write paragraphs

whether you can support this or not, I hope you are well and that life is being kind

thank you so much for your time


  • Anonymous

  • Elaine Dolan

  • Anonymous

  • Emma

  • Mark Adams

  • Andrew Adams


About the cause

Mercy University Hospital Foundation

Funds raised through the Mercy University Hospital Foundation are used to purchase state-of-the-art equipment, to enhance and develop services and to help Hospital staff in providing a world-class service in a world-class hospital. The Foundation will help to provide life-saving, life-changing support to the patients of the Mercy University Hospital.

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