Frontline medical staff Siobhan Healy, Dave O’Donoghue, Padraic MacCarthy, Aine Considine, Patrick Seigne and Mary Mcguane with Eileen Finnucane, who lost her partner to Covid-19, holding white roses to remember those lost to the virus. Photo: Clare Keogh

A rose for those we lost

Frontline medical staff and gardaí will take part in a cycle of remembrance from CUH next month to honour those who have lost their lives to Covid-19.

The event will see ICU doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, hospice staff, paramedics and gardaí from around the island of Ireland cycle to the Memorial Gardens at Islandbridge in Dublin for the ICU4U charity cycle.

The cyclists will pass through as many community hospitals as possible enroute to Dublin, collecting white roses along the way to represent the 7000+ lives lost to the virus.

The event, which will run from 2-3 September, aims to raise €150k for several charities including ALONE, Aware, and Breakthrough Cancer Research. More than half of this target has already been reached through corporate sponsorship.

At the end of the cycle, a brief commemoration ceremony will be held in line with public health restrictions at the Memorial Gardens in front of over 7000 white roses.

On 4 September, members of the public will be invited to visit the commemoration site to take a rose and remember a loved one, making a charitable donation if they so wish.

The event follows on from last year’s ICU4U fundraising cycle when doctors, nurses and staff from Ireland’s Intensive Care Units successfully raised €120,000 for the same charities.

Consultant Intensivist at CUH ICU and organiser of ICU4U, Dr Patrick Seigne said and his colleagues have witnessed incredible tragedy over the past year.

“We’ve come together to do a remembrance event for the victims and their families. We have all seen the secondary challenges of the pandemic, in particular with older people, those in nursing homes, those experiencing anxiety and mental illness, and cancer patients,” he said.

Serena O’Brien, an ICU Nurse affiliated with IACCN (Irish Association of Critical Care Nurses), added: “Not only will this be a way to remember all these wonderful people, but it will also raise money for others who have been indirectly affected. We hope the general public will get behind us again this year!”

ICU doctors, nurses and staff, and other frontline workers, are now calling on the public to help them exceed their €150,000 target.