Sperrin staff praised by Derry man’s family

Pictured donating the cheque are Patsy McChrystal's children Charlie, Clare, Carmel and Marie. The donation was accepted by nurses Sylvia Cole, Sinead Molloy, Michelle Duffy and Dr Feargal McNicholl on behalf of the Sperrin Unit.

Pictured donating the cheque are Patsy McChrystal's children Charlie, Clare, Carmel and Marie. The donation was accepted by nurses Sylvia Cole, Sinead Molloy, Michelle Duffy and Dr Feargal McNicholl on behalf of the Sperrin Unit.

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Relatives of a Derry man treated at Altnagelvin’s Sperrin Room in the decade before his death have heaped praise on staff as they presented a cheque to help others.

Relatives of Patsy McChrystal recently raised over £2,000 from a sponsored climb up Mount Errigal, which they have now presented to staff.

In a statement yesterday, the family said: “Patsy Mc Chrystal’s life expectancy after diagnosis was a short 18 months. Yet he survived and enjoyed life for a further 10 years.

“This was attributable, above all, to the unending devotion of Margaret, our mother and his wife of 60 years who was always there to welcome him home after his many hospital admissions; attending to him at whatever hour he needed her self-less support.

“Patsy always had a positive outlook, often quoting his own father’s advice only to worry about the things he could change. He loved conversation and could tell stories for Ireland.

“Patsy would never have lived so long or so well without the excellent care he received at Altnagelvin Hospital’s Sperrin Room. There he was cared for not by nurses and doctors but by healthcare professionals who became real friends, known to each of us by their first names.

“Dr. Mc Nicholl was always there for our father and we knew with certainty that he did everything humanly and medically possible to ensure Patsy enjoyed in all its fullness what life was left to him.

“Elaine Mc Kenna his District Nurse personified the virtues and values of her vocation through her compassion, diligence and care. The doctors and staff at Quayside Medical Practice and Creggan Pharmacy were always at hand making it easy to access the appointments and prescriptions that became part of daily life. Carers ensured he could remain at home with dignity.

“Patsy (86 years) died in the arms of his loving family on 28th January, 2015. When it was over, we each resolved to give something back and to thank those who did so much for him and for our family. All did some fund-raising and those who were physically able completed the walk that raised over £2,000 for the Sperrin Room.

“Our hope is that this gift will ease the journey of another’s parent and that Patsy’s story will shine a light on the truth that there are those among us who care deeply for their patients and friends.

“To you we shall remain deeply indebted and forever grateful.”