Brave Laois woman to do skydive in memory of her father

The money will go towards a family room in ICU St. James's Hospital

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan

Brave Laois woman to do skydive in memory of her father

A Portlaoise lady is going to face her fears of heights and flying by taking on a 10,000ft parachute jump in memory of her father.

Claire Dunne will take on the challenge to raise money for a family room for the Intensive Care Unit in St. James's Hospital in memory of Peter "Moscal" Dunne.

The dive will take place on September 17 and Claire has done hypnotherapy and a fly fearless course in Dublin in preparation for the big dive.

Peter was a well-known prison officer in Portlaoise for over 30 years and did charity work in the past which has inspired his daughter to follow in his footsteps.

Claire wants to give back to the people who helped her father before he died in April, 2016.

She wants to raise funds for a room to be provided in St. James's Hospital where families can gather in peace when a family member is in ICU, particularly if they have to travel.

Claire explains why this is so important to her.

"Daddy was admitted to hospital and underwent over 8 hours of surgery and in the days after he was in the ICU department where the staff fought endlessly to save his life. 

"On his first night after surgery I was in the waiting room in ICU when I was told that daddy was seriously ill, in a coma and would not make it through the night. At this stage I was waiting on my own while walking up and down corridors in the hospital while I waited for the rest of my family to travel up to say our last goodbyes.

"There was nowhere for me to go, nowhere that I could cry on my own (or at times wanting to scream) and not having strangers look at me.

"When my family arrived we all had to wait around in corridors waiting on updates and in the days after we just sat in an open waiting room.

"We weren't the only family in this situation and its heartbreaking being in it and watching others the same way. As St. James's is a main hospital that specialises in a lot of different surgeries and treatments, so many families from all over the country attend here.

"Hospitals are bad enough without having someone close in an ICU fighting for their life. Having something that we usually take for granted like a comfy chair in normal circumstances means nothing but after going through this it would mean so much to families who need it.

"If I thought I could be any help in raising funds towards a family room then Id love to be able to help others all in Daddy's memory," she said.

As it stands there is less than €20,000 needed to complete this family room and Claire is already one third of the way through her €1000 target.

Last year, Clarie raised €4,000 for another ward her father was treated in at St. James's.

Anyone who would like to sponsor Claire's skydive can do so here.