Saturday 10 December 2016

Emily Hourican: Remembering a brilliant surgeon and a deeply compassionate man

The tragic death of Professor Aongus Curran last week is a loss to us all. Emily Hourican pays tribute to the man who diagnosed her cancer

Emily Hourican

Published 21/08/2016 | 02:30

DEDICATION: Professor Aongus Curran was a kind and compassionate man
DEDICATION: Professor Aongus Curran was a kind and compassionate man

The word that came up again and again, as patients of Professor Aongus Curran expressed their sadness and shock at his sudden death, last weekend, in a fishing accident on Lough Corrib in Galway, was 'compassionate'.

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There is no doubt he was a brilliant surgeon and consultant. His professional achievements stand to that - a graduate of University College Galway, he was Professor of Otolaryngology at UCD, and attached to St Vincent's and the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear hospitals; he also set up a ground-breaking rapid assessment unit in St Vincent's for patients with suspected head and neck cancer, the first of its kind.

But what stood out, for his patients, was the compassion. The profound, human kindness. The way he saw in front of him, not sickness or disease, but people; scared people, worried people, people in pain, and the work he did to help them.

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