John Carroll Killeavy Klassic

The Carroll family are once again hosting the ever popular John Carroll Killeavy Klassic in a bid to raise funds for the Southern Area Hospice, where our dad, John, spent the last 12 days of his life.

To date we have raised in excess of £28,000 since 2016 for The Hospice and we would like to keep our fundraising going. Please come out on the morning and help us.

Dad’s illness began on an ordinary Monday (11th April) when he came home from work feeling a little unwell. Like most people, he put it down to a bug, probably picked up on his recent trip to Sweden, along with mum, to visit our brother Kevin and his family in Stockholm. Unfortunately, four weeks and several medical appointments later, and with little sign of improvement, a CT scan confirmed our worst fears. Dad had cancer.

Suddenly, we were catapulted into a new world where our dad would be fighting for his survival. Over the coming days we quickly educated ourselves on the diagnosis; Stage 4 oesophageal cancer with liver and lung metastasis. We knew he was in a tough spot, but just as dad loved to back an underdog, we firmly believed that if anyone could overcome the odds, it was dad, and this would be his greatest story to tell – John Carroll the survivor!

Unfortunately, our hopes were shattered within 4 weeks of dad’s diagnosis, when on his 63rd birthday, Thursday 9th June, the oncologist delivered the devastating news. Nothing could be done to save him. He only had a matter of weeks to live.

The last 12 days of dad’s life were spent in the amazing care of all of the doctors, nurses and auxiliary staff on level 2 of the Southern Area Hospice in Newry. During dad’s time there, we witnessed first-hand just how vital the hospice is for those with a terminal illness. Despite our best will and efforts, we could not have provided the expert care that was delivered by the staff in the Hospice, ensuring that dad was not in any pain and remained as comfortable as possible in his final days.

In addition, our entire family were made to feel at home in the Hospice. No easy feat considering upwards of 15 of us essentially took up permanent residence in the relative’s room over the course of the 12 days! The nurses and auxiliary staff really could not have done enough to support us during the most difficult time in our lives.

Dad eventually passed away peacefully on Saturday 25th June at 7:40am surrounded by his whole family. We will never forget the amazing care and compassion shown by all of the staff in the Hospice during dad’s final days.