Dubliner Walks Wicklow Way For Cappagh Cause
A Dubliner’s good deed has helped raise funds for new technology at Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital that will benefit patients with certain types of tumours. Joe Lowther, from Rathgar, recently completed a 7-day charity walk along the Wicklow Way in appreciation of the treatment received by his girlfriend Eimear Harkin while a patient in Cappagh Hospital, and to raise funds for a cause that was close to their hearts. Sponsorship raised by Joe will fund the purchase of a laptop with the specially designed Osirex software for use by the Bone and Soft Tissue tumour service at Cappagh. Having a dedicated laptop with this software will significantly improve the planning of the surgeries as all the patients’ scans will be in one system – a system that is compatible with those of other hospitals.
Eimear had discovered a lump on her leg, which she didn’t take much notice of for a long time. However in 2015, after an MRI in Cappagh Hospital, Eimear was diagnosed with sarcoma. “When I was diagnosed that morning in Cappagh and Margaret Cavanagh, Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist, told me I have cancer, it wasn’t a case of ‘this is terrible news’; it was ‘you are going to get better’, and I went home and I told people that I’m going to fight this because that’s what Margaret and Mr. Gary O’Toole, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, told me.”
Eimear is now back to full health and still attends Cappagh for check-ups a few times a year. She speaks highly of her experience: “You are not just in and out, they take their time with you. Whenever I ring Margaret, she knows who I am straight away. I’ve been very lucky with the doctors and nurses I have dealt with in all hospitals, especially Cappagh.”
Her advice to anyone coming for the first time to Cappagh is: “Everyone you meet in Cappagh will treat you so well. There is nothing to be scared of because you are just looked after like a 5-star hotel.”
Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital is Ireland’s major centre for elective orthopaedic surgery. Cappagh has been the pioneer of orthopaedic surgery in Ireland and is now the biggest dedicated orthopaedic hospital in the country. Over 20,000 patients annually avail of the hospital’s services as in-patients, day patients and out-patients. The full range of orthopaedic services provided include major joint replacement (ankle, hip, knee, shoulder, elbow and wrist), spinal surgery, primary bone tumour service, paediatric orthopaedics and sports injuries.
Over 100 patients are referred annually to Cappagh’s Bone Tumour Unit to attend the radiology service, day ward and, in some cases, in-patient services. Cappagh treats an average of 12 bone tumour and 50 new sarcoma patients annually.
This year, Cappagh Hospital Foundation, the charity arm of the hospital, is raising vital funds for the purchase of Navigation Assisted Systems and software for scoliosis corrective surgery. This new software will allow surgeons at Cappagh to undertake complex spinal surgeries safely and with dramatically reduced risk, providing increasingly better outcomes for patients in reducing curvature of the spine and restoring patient height. The development of this service in Cappagh is a first for Ireland and will benefit many adolescents with this ailment. At a cost of €500,000, this development will also play a vital role in tackling existing waiting lists for spinal surgery.
If you wish to know more about Cappagh Hospital Foundation please visit www.chf.ie or contact our offices on 01-8340325.