An emotional Simon Keating was awarded the South East Radio/Talbot Hotel Outstanding Achievement Award for May. A worthy winner, Simon met his partner Geraldine McMahon in Chicago almost 17 years ago. Living in Fethard on Sea, Simon worked in the construction industry until he decided someone close to him needed his help.
A special aunt, Nellie Keating, became ill following an accident on the 29th November 2012. A fall resulted in her requiring hospitalisation for a period of time. When Nellie returned home she was no longer able to manage by herself. She lived in a two story house and found it difficult to climb the stairs.
As Simon didn’t want her to go into a nursing home, he along with his brothers built an extension to the back of the house to enable her to live comfortably downstairs. However her health continued to deteriorate and eventually Simon moved in with Nellie to take care of her and Geraldine was fantastic cooking, shopping and helping out. This meant Simon had to give up his job in the construction industry to become Nellie’s full-time carer, a role he was happy and willing to perform until she died the 7th of December 2015.
The position of a carer is often difficult but Simon was delighted to give Nellie the quality of life she deserved. Surrounded by friends and family in the South East Radio studio, each had a story to tell. Aunt Nellie by all accounts was a great character, enjoying copious cups of tea and was an avid reader of the daily newspaper. Although she was sometimes a little demanding, this was never a problem to Simon, as he fulfilled her every whim often bringing her out for afternoon tea to local cafes and restaurants. Family friend, Michael Kent says Simon “went way beyond the extra mile” in caring for his aunt. Sister Rose, visited Nellie and always found her content and peaceful. She said that Simon was so caring of Nellie and a very worthy recipient of this award. Simon’s brother Nicky said Simon was a “gem”
Congratulations Simon from all of us here at South East Radio, you most certainly are a gem.