Hospital staff are showered with love from community

FROM bikes to pizza to personal protective equipment, the staff in St James’s Hospital in Dublin 8 are being provided with all kinds of goodies to make their jobs at the frontline of this pandemic easier. 

There is no doubt that it’s a solemn time during the coronavirus outbreak, especially within the hospital walls in James’s. Solemn, and strangely quiet. 

“What is usually an extremely busy hospital from 9am to 5 pm is now like a ghost town,” says Paul Burke, a medical technologist at the hospital. As his work involves patient samples in the pathology lab, Burke can’t work from home along with the majority of the country, and travels from Lucan on empty buses every day. 

However, with supplies and resources running low each day, positivity and support remains high for our healthcare heroes. People and local businesses from the surrounding Dublin 8 area are making sure that their support for the staff can be heard loud and clear. 

#GerBackGardenMarathon has been trending on both Twitter and Facebook as a Dublin man is running marathons in his back garden on his days off to raise money for protective gear. Gerard Twohig has been crossing off different hospitals to help each week. He has raised over €5,000 for St James’ Hospital.

“Week in, week out it just seems to be getting bigger and bigger and getting out there to more people,” Twohig said to Q102. 

“I’m only trying to do my little bit for the country.” 

Similarly, St Ketienne, one of UCD’s Superleague football teams, are attempting to run over 2,000km to raise money for the hospital. 

Starting on 13thApril, the 20 team members have been running individually, within a two-kilometre radius in their hometowns. They have already hit their €5,000 mark after just one day. 

“During these unprecedented times it is crucial that we try and assist the staff in St. James’s Hospital in any way because they’re putting themselves most at risk while also doing an amazing job in helping tackle Covid-19 so we urge you to not just support us but to support them!”

Keep up to date with St Ketienne’s progress here.

Meanwhile, direct donations of personal protective equipment and refreshments have also been arriving. In one day the hospital took in googles donated by adhesive company Bostik Ireland and soft drinks given by Lucozade.

Credit: @stjamesdublin

#Feedthefrontline has also sparked engagement on social media where local businesses are making it their mission to ensure the healthcare heroes are well fed during their jobs. 

Allglass Autoglass, for example, contributed so that Coke Lane Pizza on Meath Street could drop 50 pizzas to the staff at St James’s. 

Meanwhile, nine-year-old Daniel McGowan collected an outstanding 3,000 Easter Eggs for the staff.

Burke also says that transport companies are also offering the frontline workers their support by providing services to make the commute easier for the hospital workers. Services such Toyota Club, MOBY ebike, Bleeper Bikes and the Cycle Clinic Call out Service all lend a helping hand. 

Perhaps the most well-known supporter of the St James’s Hospital staff is none other than Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan. 

The 26-year-old released a heartfelt plea in support of the staff at St James’s Hospital on social media. The Little Womenactor praises the “real life superheroes… who are going above and beyond”.

Ronan and other Irish celebrities have voiced their support and encouraged donations to the SJH Foundation. 

“But it is not just famous celebrities – the support from the general public has been incredible and not unnoticed,” Burke says. The overwhelming support continues to be felt by everyone working in the hospital during this pandemic.