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

I usually arrive in Hari at 7.15am to meet Sharon and Sarah; we are the first nurses who start seeing patients from 7.30am. After setting up the tw(...)

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

I have had an interest in medicine since my early teens, partly driven by the fact that my late brother Sven was born with congenital heart disease(...)

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.

Gerry Hopkins had his first heart attack when he was in his 30s, and a second less than two years later. After surgery and subsequent medication, h(...)

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

In 2009 Brian Walsh was given six months to live. A father of two who is originally from London but has been living in Ennis, Co Clare, for years, (...)

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

I live in Clonsilla, which is just a short commute from the Mater hospital, and on Monday mornings I arrive at the Daffodil Centre before 9am. I check(...)

Airfield Farm, Dundrum, Dublin

School’s out for the next couple of weeks and children will be throwing off their uniforms with glee. But just because they aren’t in the classroom(...)

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

I have been based in Central and West Africa for two years and prior to that I was working as the director of programmes in Dublin. I started this (...)

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

Kate O’Kelly is preparing to run her eighth marathon. The Dublin woman hasn’t always been a keen runner but since her mother died of cancer in 2008, s(...)

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

Gina Delaney cares for people in both her professional and personal life. She works as an outreach and development manager with the Carers’ Associa(...)

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

Respite for families My role as a night nurse involves caring for terminally ill patients, providing comfort, managing their symptoms and offering som(...)