Ross's dying wish raises €200k for patients

Geraldine Gittens

THE family and friends of a teenager who died from cancer have fulfilled his dying wish by helping create better conditions for patients.

Ross Nugent, from Malahide, lost his battle with the bone disease Ewing's Sarcoma two years ago aged 18.

But his family and friends were determined to carry out his wish to improve conditions for other patients and after a tireless campaign of fundraising they have bought €200,000 worth of equipment for Beaumont Hospital's cancer ward.

Ross's dad Don told the Herald that he and his wife Sandra and Ross's only sister, Emma, along with their friends, have bought 75 pieces of equipment for St Clare's ward in Beaumont.

The equipment includes blood-pressure machines, bionic chairs used by day patients undergoing treatment, bedside lamps, and chair-beds for relatives to sleep on in the hospital, all of which eases cancer treatment for patients and their relatives.

"Ross was a very charismatic and positive young man who was always looking at what he could do to help others," said Don.

"He's one of those people who would walk into a room and people would say, here's Ross, even though he didn't want to be the centre of attention.

"He touched more people than I'll ever touch. And the Ross Nugent Foundation helps to keep his memory alive. Ross would only speak about the things he would do when he got out of hospital.

"He was staying in a good room in the hospital but one day the cuff of the blood pressure monitor kept coming off his arm and he said when I get out of here I want to fundraise for one of these because it's not fair for other patients.


"Our objectives for the foundation are very fundamental -- it's about making life comfortable for the patients, their families and the staff.

"We don't give cheques to the hospital because we know ourselves what we want the money to go towards -- the hospital orders the equipment and we pay the suppliers."

The Ross Nugent Foundation -- which consists of nine of Ross's relatives and family friends -- regularly receive letters of gratitude from patients.

"A new day oncology unit opened in Beaumont in April, and the foundation provided all 10 of the bionic oncology chairs. Patients can spend hours on these getting their treatment so they need to be comfortable."

Don and his family have been overwhelmed by the support they've had from the public and say they will continue to fundraise for the foundation for as long as people want to donate.

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