Donegal is lucky to have LUH – patient

by Louise Doyle

WHILE hospitals often hit the headlines for the wrong reasons, one Tyrone man who had to be treated at Letterkenny University Hospital after falling ill has praised staff for their excellent professionalism and care.


John Eakin had been enjoying a few days away in idyllic Marblehill with his wife, Barbara, visiting their daughter when he suffered chest pains and went to the Accident and Emergency department of LUH on Thursday, June 2, where he says he was meticulously cared for for nine hours before being discharged.

Such was Mr Eakin’s care and treatment in LUH, he says that while he was a ‘stranger’ when he was admitted to the hospital, he left a ‘friend’.

In a Letter to the Editor in today’s paper, Mr Eakin has paid tribute to staff at LUH, highlighting their “excellent professional treatment” and “caring human concern”.

Speaking to the Donegal News, Mr Eakin, from Omagh, said he and his wife decided to take a few days break earlier this month ahead of hip surgery he was scheduled to undergo in Derry.

“I had been due to go into Altnagelvin hospital the following week to have a hip operation and I had thought it would be great to get rest before going in for surgery.

“I had been taking chest pains so my wife decided it was time to go to the hospital. I was very apprehensive and nervous because I hadn’t actually been to Accident and Emergency before. However, because I was due to undergo an operation there was a bit of a panic when I took ill, so I decided to go.

“We arrived late at night and there were about a dozen people waiting. However, I was in the process within 10 or 15 minutes. I had nurses and doctors by my side the entire time and my wife was offered tea and a sandwich.


“When I was admitted they treated my condition as a heart problem and they were so thorough because I had said to them that I didn’t think there was anything wrong with my heart but they were so professional and thorough and told me that it was their job to find out.”

After undergoing an ECG and a series of blood and other tests, it was discovered Mr Eakin had suffered a strained muscle between his rib and left arm due to the crutches he is currently using.

“They were so nice and reassuring. I was there nine hours in total before they were satisfied with my blood test results.
“The staff were amazing and it came across very clearly to me that they were very proud of the place and their job. From the consultants to the porter, they were all incredible.”

Mr Eakin says his positive experience has given him an alternative view to the somewhat negativity surrounding hospitals.
“Some reports we read about hospitals are not in a good light and I understand things can go wrong, but a lot of the time it isn’t to do with people on the front-line but all I can relate to is my own personal experience. Hospitals and people who work in the caring profession often don’t get the credit they deserve and I really want to praise the staff in LUH. I would have no problem recommending the hospital to the people of Donegal.

“It’s a small world because someone who is quite senior in LUH we had met in Marblehill before I attended the hospital, so it’s quite a small world!”

The Tyrone man said that because of the incredible care and attention he received, he would have no hesitation or nervousness in attending Accident and Emergency in the future, if he needed to.

“I’m grand now. My stay in Letterkenny did me no harm. However, I still need a new hip as my operation ended up being cancelled so I’ll be back in hospital again before long.

“The LUH is a remarkable facility. The people of Donegal are lucky to have it on their doorsteps.”


Letterkenny University Hospital

Letterkenny University Hospital


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Mr O’Rourke, who earns around €185,000 a year, has been working in Letterkenny for the past twenty-one years.


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