Wednesday 22 November 2017

'I'm very, very lucky to be alive today'

Peter Moroney determined to take his second chance after he survived a suicide attempt a month ago. Hubert Murphy met him.

Peter Moroney picked up a photograph of his late son, Simon, and the rest of the family.

He caressed it and thought of good times. He was drifting away, having taken a massive dose of tablets, but something stopped him from closing his eyes for the last time. It was Simon.

'I think he said 'go back' and I did,' the founder of the suicide prevention charity SOSAD stated this week.

Just a month ago, Peter attempted to take his own life, but stopped 'at the final fence' and today, begins the road to win back his health, both mentally and physically.

He rang his wife as he slipped away and asked her to phone for an ambulance.

They rushed to his aid and he ended up in intensive care in Navan hospital. 'I died, they had to resuscitate me,' he revealed.

He says he knows what he put his family through and will never do it again.

'My organs shut down and now I have to begin the process of building myself up again. I see it as rebooting myself and it might take a year, but I'll get there.'

What hurts him is that the family had to witness the aftermath of his attempt, the rushing about in the hospital, being sent from the room, the resus team coming in. It's sparked a new beginning, he says.

The help he received from the HSE since he left the hospital is immense.

'They came up every day, they put a brilliant safety net around me. They said they'd ring at certain times and the phone would ring. I can't thank them enough,' he stated.

Peter now wants to 'clear the air' since his departure from SOSAD.

He has heard rumours and reports of rows, money and the rest. 'It was between me and the board, an issue between us,' he states.

'I'm a stubborn, thick git, but my focus, always, was on helping people and nothing got in the way of that.

'The staff and volunteers in SOSAD are wonderful people and will continue to be wonderful for those that need help. I'm speaking this week because the clients and volunteers continue to need support.

'I have to thank the many people who have supported me and stop me to say hello and how is it going. It helps. I even got a call from Paddy Townley and I joked with him, that I wasn't ready to see him just yet!

'I'm very, very lucky to be alive and to have a second chance. I understand how stupid I was. It was such a haze and I just flipped. I just thought it was the best thing.

'I was bad for a year with depression and it was getting worse and worse but I'm delighted I'm still here and delighted I'm still alive.

'I find it hard to sit and relax but the dog is getting plenty of walks down the park and I'm building up my physical strength. I've accepted my depression and I'll sort it out. I know I have to get myself right but I would love to go back to helping others,' he stated.

In his days with SOSAD he can safely say that 'those with depression are the best actors in the world' because they don't want people to see them struggling.

He says it is a personal sadness that there are no members of the Moroney family now involved with SOSAD but is thankful for what it has done and continues to do, inspired by the staff and volunteers.

'My attention was always on the next person. Once we got a person seen and in the system, it was a case of moving to the next individual out there, because there are so many.

'What kept me going was meeting a person in need of help and meeting them again months later and seeing the difference. It would lift me for a week.

'SOSAD allowed me to find out why I'm here and what I had to do. I urge people to go to SOSAD and meet the wonderful team there.'

As he takes the lead and the dog heads for (another!) walk, Peter Moroney remains upbeat about the future and his journey ahead.

'Come up and say hello to me. You know, we all struggle at times and you need help. I was the worst in the world when it came to doctors but know I listen to everything they say and advise.

'Simon has always guided me in my life and he brought me back for a second chance. Thanks son.'

Drogheda Independent

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