Friday 24 October 2014

Parkinson's sufferer Shay Healy: 'I think about death all the time... I'm turned for home'

Published 30/03/2014 | 10:28

Shay Healy talks about living with Parkinson's disease
Multitalented: Shay Healy

Musician Shay Healy has opened up about his diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease ten years ago.

The Irish songwriter, broadcaster, and journalist, who wrote the hit "What's Another Year", has described how he believes he is "turned for home".

"I think about death all the time but not in an unhealthy way. I'm kind of resigned to the fact that I'm turned for home."

"I haven't cried...being a realist, I try not to analyse it too much."

The performer says he still belongs on stage - and it's one of the places where the pain of Parkinson's Disease "goes away" for him.

"The stage is my natural home. That's where I belong...for forty or fifty minutes there's no pain and the Parkinson's goes away."

Parkinson's is a progressive neurological disorder, for which there is no cure.

"I don't know how far this is going to go, or if I'm going to be rendered speechless, which for me would be one of the greatest sentences of all time," he told RTE Radio's Miriam O'Callaghan.

The disease has affected how he walks, which was a huge set back for him because he loves walking.

"I started walking again this year. I've managed to go to Sandymount and back and to Ballsbridge and back."

"I used to walk out to the lighthouse from Sandymount strand."

He recalled from his much-loved walks: "when you get to the Lighthouse you look back on Dublin city, you've the smooth on the one side and the rough on the other; the ying and the yang."

"i write songs all the time that I think still interpret how I feel and how other people feel."

He paid tribute to his wife Dymphnam, whom he married in 1967, for looking after him throughout his entire illness.

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