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Dublin: 10 °C Wednesday 19 February, 2020

Man with MS living in nursing home reunited with childhood sweetheart on Liveline

Kevin Barron (59) was diagnosed with MS in his 20s and has lived in a nursing home for the last 13 years.

Image: Shutterstock

A MAN SUFFERING from multiple sclerosis was telling RTÉ’s Liveline about his tough situation living in a nursing home when his childhood sweetheart phoned in.

Kevin Barron (59) was diagnosed with MS in his 20s and decided to enter a nursing home when his elderly parents were unable to care for him.

He told Joe Duffy that he believed the nursing home was a temporary solution at the time but 13 and a half years later he is still there and just wants home.

Kevin described how he opts to stay in bed for long periods of time because he doesn’t like being in the sitting room in the nursing home.

“I hate the sitting room, nobody speaks in there, they just sit there like dummies.

“I’m totally helpless now, I can’t even lift up my hand to scratch my nose, that’s how helpless I am.

“If I get an itch I have to wait for it to go away.”

He says many of the residents have Alzheimer’s and dementia and he doesn’t have anything in common with them.

Kevin told Duffy that he has no life at all in the nursing home in west Dublin.

A Warm December 

Kevin prompted a huge response from listeners including Geraldine Dunleavy, his first girlfriend.

“He was the first boy to ask me out and I was delighted,” Geraldine said.

Geraldine called the programme when she heard Kevin on air and the two were reunited, sharing stories of their first date to the cinema to see the Sidney Poitier film, A Warm December.

“I even remember your address, I wanted to write to you,” Kevin told Geraldine.

Geraldine said she was aware of Kevin’s situation and supports him in getting out of the nursing home which is making him unhappy.

Some places aren’t suitable for people who have their minds, I support Kevin in going home – he deserves to be with people.

Duffy said the HSE had been in touch with the programme and are actively looking for a solution for him.

Geraldine and Kevin plan to meet up in October.

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Adam Daly

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