"My soul mate Ronan, passed away gently in his sleep," Dublin man loses cancer fight after family raise $100,000 to aid medical bills
Ronan Winter, the Blackrock man whose family's plea for funding towards his medical costs went viral, lost his fight against cancer this weekend.
The family of the 47-year-old started the online campaign last week to raised money for medical and household expenses, as Ronan had cancelled their life assurance temporarily to save into a college fund for his daughters.
However he was told by doctors on December 23rd last that he had stage four esophageal cancer. Within weeks of his diagnosis, the cancer had spread to many vital organs, and two months later he suffered a stroke that left him unable to talk or eat.
He was cared for at home by his wife and daughters and in-laws, and was unable to eat or to receive food through a feeding tube, as he was so weak.
His wife Diane, who was by his side when he passed away said:
"On Saturday we spent the day listening to music, talking about the past and dreaming of the future.
“I told him I loved him and stroked his hair. I sat silently and contemplated our life together. The funny times with our beautiful girls, the joyous times spent with family and friends, and the many ups and the few downs of our marriage.
“I whispered words of comfort in his ear and put a cool cloth on his forehead. As the evening wore on, I left the room for a moment and when I walked back in, my soul mate, the love of my life, Ronan, passed away gently in his sleep. I was calm and knew he would want it that way.”
The day before Ronan passed away, Diane wrote to independent.ie to express the family’s gratitude for the support they had received from Ireland.
“ We feel the strength of the love from all. We are in awe of how people have come forward to help us.
“I have had a hard time seeing my soul mate literally tortured to death and there is nothing I can do about it,” she wrote.
The couple have two teenage daughters, and Diane wrote how Ronan surprised them all last year by buying four tickets to see One Direciton in Chicago, flying them there from their home in California, for the younger daughter Keera’s birthday.
“When we got to the room he had a cake waiting and balloons with a card. I didn't even know he planned all that. He would do this for his girls and I all the time. “
Friends of Ronan have been posting on his Facebook page since his passing, with many comments from his friends in Dublin. One this morning read
"In his most difficult moments and at the end of his life he is bringing many of us together who went to school with him, for that we are grateful, especially the guys who were close to Ronan. Everyone has had great stories and memories of Ronan."
The crowdfunding appeal is continuing to raise money, as the family had depleted the college fund for Keelan & Keara on Ronan's mounting medical expenses.