Volunteers help hospice patient’s beach wish come true

Margaret Goode and her husband Joe and family Muireann Murray, Martina Goode, Bernie Murray and Kate Whelan looking out at the sea from Ballyloughane beach.

There are times in life when it’s the most simple of things that make the biggest difference – and thanks to the kindness of volunteers at Oranmore Civil Defence, one patient at Galway Hospice had her wish to visit the beach granted.

Margaret Goode, like many of us over the past few weeks, was longing to hear the waves crashing, but her health was restricting her – and leaving the hospice to get to the seaside was looking less and less likely.

But a chance encounter between Louie Casserly of Oranmore Civil Defence and Margaret’s daughter in the hospice corridor meant Margaret got what she wanted – and last Friday, she was brought to Ballyloughane to enjoy what so many of us take for granted, as Louie explains.

“We were going in with a patient one day, we met the family in the corridor, and they were telling us how Margaret wanted to go to the beach,” says Louie.

“I asked the hospice for permission and they said yes, as long as she was up to it, so we started to get a crew together.”

It was Louie and her son Luke who brought Margaret out last Friday – and Margaret was surrounded by her family who came in from Ballinasloe, to be with her on what was an incredibly special day for her.

“It’s great when these things come together because you could be planning these things for weeks and it might not happen – but 90 per cent of the time, I get my way,” says Louie.

In a message to Oranmore Civil Defence, Margaret’s daughter, Martina, expresses her thanks to the crew, “for making my mother’s wish come true”.

“Two lovely kind members brought my mother and let her have her time at the beach. My mother may not have much time left…so a huge thank you for the work you do. We are forever grateful to you all,” she writes.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.