CORKONIANS have come together for a CUH nurse as she battles to recover from a devastating car accident that claimed the life of her husband last month.
Kiran Smith, who lives in Ballincollig, has been working in Cork University Hospital for 14 years and suffered the tragedy while visiting family in India. The Irish citizen is now facing a number of surgeries while grieving for her late husband Oliver.
Friends and CUH colleagues decided to take action with a Go Fund Me page for Kiran, which they hope will help with her spiralling hospital costs in India as well as bills back in Ireland.
The mother of two has been praised by her colleagues who say they are simply returning the kindness she has shown to everyone over the years. More than €13,000 has been raised for Kiran to date and friends are striving to add to the figure.
Fellow nurse Dorina Dennehy spoke of their love and respect for the mum of two.
"Whether as a nurse or a friend, she always gives 100 per cent to the person she is with," she said.
We are already seeing a number of her former patients making donations because they remember the kindness she showed them and how well she looked after them."
Kiran is currently being comforted by her two daughters, one of whom works as a care assistant in Cork University Hospital's Emergency Medicine Department.
Dorina recalled how excited Kiran was to be visiting home.
"She hadn't been back since before the pandemic so she was counting down the days till she could see her family again," she says. "When we heard about the accident at work it was a shock. We thought that Kiran had been the worst injured.
"Oliver started deteriorating but we still hoped that he would be okay. You would think his death would not have a come as such a shock to us, given that we are nurses but it affected everyone so deeply. Oliver was a lovely, unassuming man and we saw how much they adored each other."
She said that all they can do now is be there for Kiran.
"Being an amazing cook, she loves to feed everybody in the ward and makes beautiful dishes for us. We might not always get the time to eat them but they are always there. She is the kind of person who might not bring a lunch herself but will remember lunch for everyone else."
Dorina described how support from the public has helped them all cope.
"As soon as we started the fundraiser the atmosphere on the ward changed from one of heartbreak to one of positivity. It lifted our spirits to see so many people donating."
Staff of CUH have been keeping abreast of Kiran's progress through regular updates.
"One of my colleagues is in contact with Kiran because we wanted to avoid overwhelming her. Updates are then fed back to everyone on the ward."
Friends and colleagues have spoken of how keen they are to see Kiran again.
"I was thinking only this morning about how much I can't wait to see her in person. I know that others feel the same. Kiran's road to recovery will no doubt be a very long one but we want to be able to help in any way we can."
She appealed to anyone who can afford a donation to support the cause.
"Even if it's just a small amount these numbers all add up. We will be so grateful for any support."
To donate to the fund for Kiran visit Help us to help Kiran