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‘The level of care, compassion and dedication I received was unbelievable’

Gene Tangney (seated in the car) is welcomed home by members of his family of the Black Valley, Killarney, from left, Claire, daughter Fiadhna, Sinead, Michelle, Christine, son Feidhlim and Gareth.
Pictures: Valerie O’Sullivan

A TENACIOUS coronavirus survivor who spent four months fighting for his life in hospital before being allowed to return home to his family at the weekend has thanked the medical team at University Hospital Kerry for saving his life and everybody for their prayers and good wishes.

Gene Tangney developed initial symptoms of the virus last March and was self-isolating at home but he was eventually rushed to hospital after he became seriously ill.

His condition deteriorated so rapidly that he was placed in an induced coma and on a ventilator in the hospital’s intensive care unit for several weeks.

Gene, his dad Michael, son Feidhlim and daughter Fiadhna with (left) Denis Geaney organiser of the Ring of Kerry cycle in aid of the intensive care unit at the hospital that cred for Gene

Because of the threat of the virus, his loved ones had to suffer the heartbreak of not being able to be at his side as he fought for his life.

But the normally super fit 55-year-old, an avid mountaineer, walker and cyclist, dug deep from his hospital bed and, with top class medical assistance, sheer willpower and true grit, he lived to tell the tale.

Following an emotion-charged return to his home in the Black Valley at the weekend, Gene, his son Feidhlim, daughter Fiadhna, and the extended Tangney family were anxious to express their gratitude to the team at University Hospital Kerry.

Gene Tangney taking part in a previous Ring of Kerry cycle

“I owe my life to the nurses and doctors in the ICU ward. The level of care, compassion and dedication I received was unbelievable,” he said.

Understandably frail and in need of further expert care and rehabilitation until he can return to normal life, Gene was also quick to praise the 100,000 people all over the world who responded to a family appeal to light a candle for his recovery on Easter Monday night last.

He also extended his thanks to the volunteers with Team Geaney who embarked on a 180km cycle around the Ring of Kerry on Saturday, on his behalf, to raise funds for the intensive care unit that saved his life.

They have already generated close on €22,000 in donations and donations can be made via GoFundMe at https://gf.me/u/ygcrtc until the end of August.

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