The Denise Cassidy Memorial Award recognises and celebrates the kindness, compassion and humanity of a hospital healthcare worker to a lung fibrosis patient or their family. Every two years, patients and carers are invited to nominate a person who showed you or your loved one a special act of kindness that helped you cope with your illness better.
This special award is named in honour of Denise Cassidy who was diagnosed with IPF at the age of 56 and passed away 3 years later. During her illness, Denise met many kind, friendly, caring, and dedicated healthcare staff and other lung fibrosis patients who helped and supported her enormously. Denise’s husband Eddie is Chairman of ILFA and her daughter Nicola is a charity Director. Both have served on the ILFA committee since 2007. Denise’s family are loyal fundraisers for ILFA and all are honoured to have this special award dedicated to her memory.
Katie Barry, staff nurse from Cork University Hospital was awarded the inaugural Denise Cassidy Memorial Prize in
2015. Katie was nominated by Vikki Jolly for her outstanding kindness, dedication and compassion when caring for Vikki’s father, Martin Erangey.
Katie said “To say that I am grateful and honoured is an understatement. Words cannot express how thankful and deeply touched I am. The certificate and award have pride of place in my home. I’m still looking at it with disbelief. I love my job and you never expect to receive anything for the work you do, but to be honoured in such a way is truly amazing and something I will always be proud of and grateful for.”
Olivia Mulvaney, staff nurse from Cavan General Hospital was awarded the 2017 prize and was nominated by Bridget McEneaney for the outstanding care of her late husband, Dessie McEneaney.
Olivia said “I want to express my sincere appreciation to Bridget and all the McEneaney family for taking the time to nominate me for this award at such a difficult time in their lives. To get this recognition, adds to the job satisfaction I get from nursing. I am truly honoured and humbled to have received the Denise Cassidy Memorial Prize for Excellence in Patient Care 2017.”
Nelson Gallarin staff nurse at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital was awarded the Denise Cassidy Memorial Prize for Excellence in Patient Care in 2019 and was nominated by Peter Gallagher for his exceptional kindness and compassion.
Nelson was thrilled to learn that he was the winner of the award and said “It is an honour to be granted the award. I am indeed grateful and delighted. It is the small things we consistently do that really give great impact to the lives of others. To live a life of purpose gives life meaning … a life of service to others that even though they won’t be remembering my name long after they have gone home, if they will remember how they felt while they were under my care, then that’s good enough for me. I’m happy that Peter remembered my name; that my name is engraved on his heart, like my name is engraved on this trophy, and we both treasure, not only our winnings, but the fond memories of our encounter. Thank you to Peter and ILFA for this award.”
Mary Ward, Clinical Nurse Specialist at St Michael’s Hospital in Dublin was the winner of the 2021 Denise Cassidy Memorial Award is . Mary was nominated by Paula Jacob whose mother, Marie, passed away from lung fibrosis in 2019. In nominating Mary, Paula told us that her mother had received exceptional care over 8-years while attending St Michael’s Hospital. Mary treated Marie with kindness and compassion. Mary said It was such an honour to receive the Denise Cassidy Memorial Prize. I have been very touched by the kind words that Paula and the Darcy family had written and I’m very thankful to them. I’m so grateful to even be nominated in the first place. It was a big shock and I’m still in disbelief. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.