Michael Ryan: ‘Getting to help bring new life into the world, being the first person to hold a new human as they take their first breath of air was a huge privilege.’

Michael Ryan (21) is a student doctor in his final year at the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland

Photograph: Getty Images

Upwards of 40,000 people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer this year

Service by the HSE facilitates the care of older people with home comforts

Reaching out: “We would encourage an increase in the consumption of fruit and vegetables,” says the HSE’s Dr Stephanie O’Keeffe. Photograph: Getty Images

Treating diseases caused by obesity currently uses up the most healthcare resources

Prof Owen Smith: the best part is treating patients with the primary intention of curing them.

Owen Smith works as a consultant paediatric haematologist at Our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin and also has a role as a special advis(...)

Rosemary Kratschmar and her son, Sammy. Photograph:  Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Rosemary and Siegi Kratschmar have four grown-up children. Sammy, the youngest, is 23 years old. He has Down’s syndrome, hearing l(...)

Mark Hyland and his daughters, Alison (12) and Erica (6), who both have a rare skin condition called epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Sisters Alison and Erica were born with epidermolysis bulosa

Peadar Maxwell is a  senior psychologist within the HSE in Wexford. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Peadar Maxwell is senior child psychologist for the HSE in Wexford

Drinking more than your liver can cope with means alcohol remains in your bloodstream and will continue to place a strain on the functions of your organs for several hours after you have stopped drinking.

Experts believe we should cut alcohol down – or out – for the next few weeks

Many groups offer bereaved parents and siblings support

‘Is it normal for the bereaved to feel they want to ‘cancel’ Christmas?’

Karen Sherry from Baldoyle in Dublin pictured with her four-month old son Sonny Murphy. Sonny will be spending Christmas in Temple Street Children’s University Hospital. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

What’s Christmas like for an emergency call operator, a firefighter, a garda and a family with a sick child?

Psychologist Dr David Carey  believes we should all make singing a part of our everyday lives. “I would encourage everyone to burst into song – make it loud, make it joyous or sad, but make sure you burst into song,” he says.

Don’t worry about whether you can hold a tune, burst into song and feel great about it

James O’Reilly on the 2015 mHealth Grand Tour from Geneva to Brussels.

Law graduate James O’Reilly cycled from Geneva to Brussels to help research into type 1 diabetes

Richard Barrett, left, had a stroke while driving a council truck, but his colleague, Paul Treacy, responded quickly to the situation.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Irish Heart Foundation awards recognise commitment to help stroke survivors rebuild lives

Megan Corcoran, a Communications student in DCU. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

We catch up with Leaving Cert veterans of a stress management course to see if they still feel the benefit

Paula Murphy and John Carroll with three of their five children, Cillian and twins Cian and Mark, at their home in Carron, Co Clare. Photograph:  Eamon Ward

In Ireland, 10% of infants are born every year too early, too small and too sick

Katie Cooke runs with Dr Colin Doherty at the start of the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon on October 26th. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Teenager Katie Cooke ran the Dublin marathon in four hours despite having seven seizures along the way

Dr Orla Killeen, paediatric rheumatologist at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin: ‘Most people are stunned when they hear about a child with arthritis, as it’s generally thought of as an older person’s disease.’ Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

‘There have been incredible advances in the treatment of arthritis in recent years’

Niteline is a confidential helpline for for third-level students, run by students from Trinity College Dublin. Photograph: Fergal Phillips

Niteline is a free, confidential out-of-hours helpline where volunteers offer their time to listen and advise fellow students abou(...)

Laois footballer Colm Begley and  Movember’s Justin Coghlan at the announcement of a partnership between Movember, the GAA, and the GPA at Croke Park, Dublin. Photograph: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

The Movember Foundation is hoping to get the male population up on its feet to help tackle obesity

Annie Cooney, health co-ordinator at Athlone Institute of Technology. Photograph: James Flynn/APX

Anne Cooney is the ‘healthy campus’ co-ordinator at Athlone Institute of Technology

 Dr Declan de Freitas, consultant nephrologist and transplant physician at Beaumont Hospital, in  a meeting with Aileen Counihan, in the transplant co-ordinators office. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Dr Declan de Freitas is a consultant nephrologist and transplant physician at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, Our Lady of Lourdes Hos(...)

Carol Breen: ‘Take care of your heart as it is not until problems arise that you realise how vital it is.’ Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/ Provision

No one expects to have problems with their heart until they are older, but atypical symptoms can appear at an earlier age

A walk with forest, lake and flowers ends with freshly baked treats and hot drinks

Graeme Singleton with his wife, Grace, and their son, Lee. ‘When we started trying [for a baby], we expected to conceive straight away and when it didn’t happen, I really began to worry.’

Early detection meant fewer complications for me, and no effect on fertility

High heels and skinny jeans: How much are you prepared to suffer in the name of fashion? Photograph: Thinkstock

Are some clothes bad for your health? We separate fact from fiction

Addiction counsellor Frank Harkin, in the grounds of Belvedere House, Mullingar, Co Westmeath. Photograph: James Flynn/APX

Frank Harkin sees clients across a spectrum of addictions, writes Arlene Harris

Prof Ken McDonald leads a virtual consultation.

Virtual consultations aim to reduce appointment waiting times and increase patient care

Passed on through body fluids, pregnant women usually catch Cytomegalovirus (CMV) from their other young children through changing nappies, licking their spoons or kissing their faces. Photograph: Thinkstock

A virus that is often passed from a child to their pregnant mother can result in babies being born with hearing loss or epilepsy(...)

Davida Forde from Co Limerick: Today Davida is out of her wheelchair, can walk unaided and has started to get her life back, after being diagnosed with Lyme disease. Photograph:  Brian Gavin

Davida Forde spent weeks in a wheelchair, exhausted and in extreme pain – all from a tick bite

Luke O’Dowd at home in Blackrock, Co Dublin, with his sister, Meabh, and mother, Annemarie. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

At six months, Annemarie O’Dowd’s son developed alarming symptoms and was diagnosed with cystinosis, a rare genetic metabolic (...)

A few simple steps can ensure we arrive fresh and healthy at our destinations. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Air travel can bring serious risks for those travellers with pre-existing conditions

Pauline Fitzpatrick, a nurse specialising in cardiac rehabilitation,  is based in Monaghan hospital. Photograph:  Philip Fitzpatrick.

A week in my . . . cardiac rehabilitation programmePauline Fitzpatrick runs the cardiac rehabilitation programme at Monaghan Hospi(...)

 Alison Fegan Molloy, of Irish Premature Babies at home with her husband, Ken Fegan, and children Oisín and Cillian, in Baldoyle, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

A week in my ... charity Allison Fegan Molloy is the voluntary chief executive of Irish Premature Babies, which she set up afte(...)

Dr Angie Brown, cardiologist and medical director of the Irish Heart Foundation. Photograph: Eric Luke

Dr Angie Brown is a consultant cardiologist and the medical director of the Irish Heart Foundation

 Joan Kelly  at the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

A week in my . . . fertility clinic: Joan Kelly is the senior fertility nurse at the Hari (Human Assisted Reproduction Ireland) Cl(...)

Lars Nölke, consultant cardiothoracic surgeon at the Mater and Crumlin hospitals in Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

A week in my . . . cardiothoracic surgery. Lars Nölke is a consultant cardiothoracic surgeon at the Mater and Crumlin hospitals in(...)

Gerry Hopkins: Last year he had to stop every few minutes when out walking. Since having his heart transplant, he can go for miles without stopping.

After suffering two heart attacks, Gerry Hopkins was grateful to get a donor’s heart

Brian Walsh believes his positive outlook helped him in his cancer battle.

Terminal cancer diagnosis, but still alive six years on

Fionnuala Keane: a cancer information service nurse at the Daffodil Centre in the Mater hospital. Photograph: Alan Betson

Clinical nurse specialist Fionnuala Keane is a cancer information service nurse at one of the Irish Cancer Society’s 12 hospital-b(...)

Airfield Farm, Dundrum, Dublin

School is (almost) out for two weeks, but family outings can have an educational flavour. We choose some of the best around Irelan(...)

Damien Queall lives and work in Africa as the deputy regional director for Plan Ireland.

Damien Queally is living and working in Africa as the deputy regional director for Plan Ireland. In the past 12 months he has led (...)

Kate O’Kelly trains for the London marathon: ‘Running gave me a purpose and really helped me to deal with emotion in those early days.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne

While exercise doesn’t take away the pain of grief, it can help you to come to terms with it

Gina Delaney: ‘Every time my mother came out of hospital we went home with her; but we weren’t told how to manage her medication, nor about any side effects that developed.’ Photograph: Dylan Vaughan

Looking after a mother who has stress disorder, Gina Delaney says more support should be given to families dealing with mental hea(...)

Mary Nevin, a night nurse with the Irish Cancer Society: ‘I have seen many different reactions in people, in the immediate aftermath of a loved one’s death. We are all amateurs when it comes to grief, and all reactions are perfectly normal.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Mary Nevin is a night nurse with the Irish Cancer Society. She is 35 trained at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin and holds a master’s (...)

Linda Kidd,  a health-screening nurse with the Irish Heart Foundation. Photograph: Dylan Vaughan.

Linda Kidd, a part-time health-screening nurse with the Irish Heart Foundation, tells us about her week

Michael Fitzpatrick, head pharmacist at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, with some of his staff. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Michael Fitzpatrick has been the chief pharmacist at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin, Dublin, for the past eight years (...)

During a stress-management day for exam-year students at the Loreto Secondary School in Wexford town, students were offered art therapy and other workshops. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Recognising negative stress and making changes before it gets out of hand is key to managing extra pressure

Gemma O’Connor with her children Dara (left) and Finnán: ‘I am definitely one of the lucky ones.’

Symptoms of potentially debilitating and even fatal disease can be mistaken for signs of influenza

Ethan and Autumn Hurl: Ethan “asked us to help make him better as he wished ‘things would go back to normal’.”

Many Pandas children are misdiagnosed with OCD, Tourette’s or ADHD and some are left untreated

If you have developed breast cancer, early detection continues to be the most important factor in staying well. Photograph: Thinkstock

Oncologist Janice Walshe pinpoints advances made in disease prevention and treatment

Liz Yeates: ‘I had spent the week preparing myself for the fact that I might have cancer, but when I heard the word mastectomy I completely fell apart.’  Photograph: Dave Meehan

Cancer survivor Liz Yeates, of the Marie Keating Foundation, needs donated bras to help raise funds for research

Former postman  David Love Cameron who now grows vegetables for Michelin-starred restaurants. Photograph: Paul Wilkinson

Working with chefs Raymond Blanc and Richard Corrigan is a long way from David Love Cameron’s former career as a postman

The sooner a problem is treated, the better the results, and further irreversible lung damage can be averted. Photograph: Thinkstock

If lung disease is caught early enough, treatment can improve your chances of a healthy life

Giving up: It has been proven that people vote with their pockets and, if the price becomes  prohibitive, it will act as a major deterrent. Photograph: Thinkstock

Smoking costs a packet and it kills 100 people a week in Ireland

Eoin and Gillian Casey with their sons, Eóghan and Emmet. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Being first-time parents and having to deal with the diagnosis was really tough, but Eóghan’s personality helped them through it (...)

Stephen Kelly: “I would say my mental health is really positive and I have no problems telling anyone what I have been through as there is so much stigma involved.” Photograph: Dave Meehan

Stephen Kelly was in the depths of despair and suicidal but, following help, has recovered completely and turned his life around (...)

Joan Freeman of Pieta House. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Creating awareness about the reasons people feel suicidal and what can be done to help is a vital step towards eradicating the st(...)

Anne Geary, in Tramore, Co Waterford, with Ivy her dog. Photograph:  Patrick Browne

With no family history of cancer, complex diagnosis met a degree of denial

Gerry Quinlan: recovering mentally from illnesses “is actually the hardest part of it all”. Photograph: Eric Luke

Regular check-ups can be crucial to staying positive even in the face of daunting challenges to one’s health

Colour Dash: Last year 2,000 people took part in the 5km dash, raising €100,000 for the Irish Cancer Society.

Darren McMahon, having been treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, is back on his feet and race ready

Peadar O’Loughlin at work in the Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon, where he has a workshop. Photograph: Eamon Ward

Research has proven a link between music and positive mental health.

Paddy O’Mahony: “I wanted to give something back to the organ donors and their families.”

After finally going to a doctor with a persistent cough, the prognosis was poor until a transplant became an option

Golfer Paul McGinley and his father, Michael, who had blocked arteries and underwent a quadruple heart bypass.

For Men’s Health Week, the male population is asked to examine their lifestyle, be honest with themselves, and have niggles checke(...)

Teenager injecting with Epipen after an attack. Photograph: Getty Images

The mother of a teenager who died is campaigning for adrenalin pens to be available in public places

John Stratford and his mother, Margaret Stratford, who is his full-time carer.

Many home carers have health problems such as depression, but they are not receiving treatment, a study has found

Minister for Health, James Reilly 
with Prof
 Norman Delanty, director of the epilepsy unit, and epilepsy suffer
er, Hannah Alam (17) from Athy, Co
his morning
at Beaumo
nt Hospital
 where he officially opened a new state-of-the-ar Epilepsy monitoring unit. The new 4 bed unit is supported by over EUR700,000 capitalil investment in equipment from the HSE National Clinical Care Programme for Epilepsy...

Colin Keegan

With only one monitoring unit in the country, doctors are calling for a complex dedicated epilepsy centre

Colm Lundberg, whose depression is now at a low level, at home near Killarney, Co Kerry. Photographs: Don Mc Monagle

If you have a physical illness, you go to the doctor, but mental health issues still give rise to stigma

Blackboard jungle: For the RTE series Class Swap, pupils from Ireland attended school in Poland (above), Spain and Finland

A new TV documentary series sees Irish students and their teachers going to school in Poland, Finland and Spain

Julie Feeney: ‘Any opportunity to refresh our approach to life is good by me.’

Do you need a little inspiration for your New Year resolutions? If so, see what some well-known people are planning

Annmarie Brophy: She doesn’t particularly enjoy the feeling of being intoxicated and is happier to enjoy the occasion without it. Photograph: Alan Betson

With so many Yuletide events taking place in pubs and restaurants, it’s not an easy time to stay sober

New research suggests boys underperform because we expect them to

David Goodstein on day one of his 2,100km cycle from Brussels to Barcelona.

A 2100km cycle was an important study, combining the unveiling of new technology with research into the effects of exercise on blo(...)

Áine Lawlor: ‘We all want a magic wand to eliminate it forever, but this isn’t possible it can be monitored’.

Áine Lawlor takes us on a personal journey, as she explains how medical science changed the course of her life

Model Cara Delevingne: Delevingne’s psoriasis flared up during London Fashion week, when covered in scabs she had to be painted with make-up for the catwalk. Photograph: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

After years of trying to find a cure for psoriasis, I have learned to manage the condition

Bronwyn Kane: ‘I was shocked when I heard my result was positive but I have never seen it as a life sentence or felt a constant ticking bomb like I’ve heard others say.’ Photograph: Eric Luke

Women with the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes have a 45-65% chance of getting breast cancer by age of 70

Richard Brennan practising his Alexander Technique. He says pain is a warning sign that something is wrong with the body.  Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Many back-sufferers spend years in pain when, in many cases, all they need to do is change their posture

Dylan Smith: commented on the difference between the Dublin hospital and the one in America. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Irish parents are supporting Light It Up Gold, to raise funds for improved cancer facilities

Tara Moriarty from Fethard Co Tipperary with her sons Jack and Sean. Photograph: John D Kelly

Dental, hearing and eye tests for schoolchildren can diagnose problems so the right treatment can start early, but parents need to(...)

Trish Egan from Cree, Fortall, Birr, Co Offaly. Photograph: James Flynn/APX

Ovarian cancer can often go unnoticed until it’s too late – luckily for Patricia Egan, her illness was treated early

Can singing help patients with respiratory disorders to increase their lung capacity and regulate breathing?

The average 11-year-old’s waistline has grown 10cm in the past three decades, and in response, major UK retailers – many operating(...)

 Kathleen Airey and her son Daniel: Kathleen helps manage Daniel’s health conditions through a healthy diet. Photographs:  David Sleator

Nourish Children Week aims to highlight how a good diet can aid a child’s development, particularly those with special needs

Turning 18 means losing access to child services, so parents of children with special needs have to rely on their own abilities to(...)

At the launch: Miriam O’Callaghan and four-year-old Liam Heffernan Photograph: Domnick Walsh/Eye Focus  At the launch: Miriam O’Callaghan and four-year-old Liam Heffernan Photograph: Domnick Walsh/Eye Focus

Kerry facility provides support for those seriously ill with rare diseases

Problems associated with endometriosis can spread far beyond reproductive organs

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