Salthill woman funds tablets for Galway nursing homes

Lynne O Loughlin with her family after completing her half marathon. Left to right: Harrison, Lynne, Alan, Jonah, and Kitty.

Lynne O Loughlin with her family after completing her half marathon. Left to right: Harrison, Lynne, Alan, Jonah, and Kitty.

A Salthill woman has raised more than €5,000 for Galway nursing homes after completing a half marathon with her with triplets.

Lynne O Loughlin who is raising funds to provide Galway nursing homes with tablets, headsets, and covers to allow for better communication between residents and their loved ones who cannot visit at this time, completed 154 laps of the Salthill Hotel car park on Saturday.

O Loughlin who is originally from Limerick, says she was inspired to take on the challenge after reading of the difficulties family members have had in contacting their loved ones in nursing homes due to social distancing restrictions.

She said; “I have friends who would work in nursing homes and they were telling me how bad the situation is with people climbing over walls and bushes just to give their loved ones in the homes a quick wave and to say hello. These are some of the most vulnerable people [in society] and they have taken the brunt of [the pandemic] along with not being able to connect with family and friends and the news only seems to be getting worse for them.

“I read of one family having to say goodbye to their loved one over an iPad so I decided to raise funds for tablets and headsets to be given to nursing homes so the residents can contact their family and friends. I work as a lecturer at GMIT so I have been teaching and doing one-on-one with my students via Zoom and doing my exercise classes via this so it is well suited for those looking to communicate with others from a nursing home.

“And obviously with tablets, they are a great resource of fun and entertainment, which is needed for those in nursing homes as they are unable to go outside.”

O Loughlin who had been training for a half ironman before it was cancelled, was accompanied on her challenge by her five-year-old triplets, Kitty, Jonah, and Harrison, who she pushed every step of the 13.1 miles in a bicycle trailer.

“I was training to compete in a half Ironman before it had to be cancelled due to the restrictions. So when I was thinking of an idea to raise funds I thought it would be interesting if it had something to do with the children. I have run 5ks with them before.

“They have put on a couple of stone between themselves after the Easter eggs but they were happy out, eating their snacks, and taking pictures with their cameras. They really enjoyed because it has been a long time since they had been out of the house.”

“Unfortunately Saturday was probably the worst day I could have picked to do it as it was windy, wet, and cold. My husband Alan is an engineer and he measured out the run to be 136 laps but because I had to dodge the potholes which were filling up with water, I had to extend the course to 154 laps so I was a bit dizzy towards the end.”

At the time of writing O Loughlin’s efforts has secured more than €5,500 in donations along with eight Samsung tablets and eight headsets donated by N17 Superstores.

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