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Help frontline nurse Joan Sheahan beat cancer



Joan Sheahan has worked on the dialysis ward in University Hospital Limerick for eight years.

Help frontline nurse Joan Sheahan beat cancer

By I Love Limerick correspondent Rachel Petticrew

joan sheahan

Due to the pandemic, Joan’s husband Patrick is unable to stay with her in St. Lukes Hospital, Dublin, and must stay in hotels nearby.




A GoFundMe appeal has been set up to help frontline nurse Joan Sheahan receive cancer treatment.

Originally from the Philippines, Joan moved to Newcastle West in 2012 after meeting her husband Patrick online. Once settled into her new life in Ireland, Joan completed a major award in healthcare to become a care assistant. She has worked on the dialysis ward in University Hospital Limerick for eight years.

The young nurse’s sister-in-law, Jackie Kissane, told I Love Limerick of Joan’s admiral work on the frontline of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“She worked right through the pandemic, they all worked very long hours in there. If one staff member was a close contact, everyone else had to pull extra weight and just get on with it. Joan actually contracted Covid-19 herself on Christmas Day,” tells Jackie. 

In June this year, Joan began experiencing pain in her upper leg and found it hard to stand for long periods at work. 

After being admitted to UHL for tests, Joan was sent for specialist care in St. Lukes Hospital, Dublin, where she was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour. 

Joan must undergo five weeks of radiation before she is eligible for surgery. 

Jackie stressed that in Joan’s case, time is of the essence. 

“Joan still has a fighting chance of beating this disease. At this stage, it’s about speed and urgency. Things need to be done as quickly as possible,” says Jackie. 

The GoFundMe appeal was set up to help pay for medication and private treatment. 

“We don’t know what costs lie ahead,” Jackie admits. 

“Joan is undergoing regular scans to ensure the cancer has not spread. These scans could be done faster if she was a private patient.”

While she is a fluent English speaker, Joan sometimes struggles to understand different accents and would love for her husband Patrick to be by her side. Due to the pandemic, Patrick is unable to stay with Joan in St. Luke’s Hospital and must stay in hotels nearby. 

“Joan has anxiety about being alone,” tells Jackie. 

“She’s worried that if she is told something and doesn’t understand, she won’t know where she is in terms of her treatment.” 

It has been over three years since Joan has seen her family in the Philippines. Should the GoFundMe appeal exceed its target, Joan’s Irish family hope to bring her mother over after the surgery. 

“Joan is extremely close to her mother. If we exceed the €5,000 target, we might be able to afford to fly her mother over to help her recuperate. It would be a major boost for Joan to get through the operation, knowing she would have her mother here at the end of it,” says Jackie. 

To help Joan and her family in their fight against cancer, donate HERE 

For more Charity stories go HERE

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.