Pat determined to hold new born nephew before he passed away

By Aideen O'Flaherty

A TERMINALLY ill man met his newborn nephew just hours before he passed away on Saturday, with his wife saying that he was “adamant that he would stay around for the birth of his brother’s baby boy”.

Walkinstown man Pat Murphy, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 53, was determined to make lots of memories with his family when he was given a diagnosis of terminal cancer in May 2018, and a month after his diagnosis he married his partner, Tracey.

Pat 12

Pat Murphy holding his newborn nephew Patrick John, just hours before he passed away on Saturday at Our Lady’s Hospice in Harold’s Cross.

Pat was featured in The Echo two weeks ago when he performed at a fundraiser in The Long Mile Inn in aid of the hospice.

As reported in The Echo earlier this month, Pat took to the stage of The Long Mile Inn with his band, Little Brother, for the final time at a fundraising night that he organised for Our Lady’s Hospice in Harold’s Cross, which is the hospice where he ultimately spent the final days of his life, surrounded by his family.

At the time of his terminal diagnosis Pat was given between three months and a year to live, and he defied the odds when he reached the milestone of his one-year wedding anniversary last week, but he was also determined to be there to meet his newborn nephew.

Pat’s brother, Robert Murphy, and Robert’s partner, Yvonne Croft, brought their newborn son to the hospice on Saturday, the day after Yvonne gave birth – and they named their child Patrick John, after his uncle.

Pat’s wife, Tracey, told The Echo: “Pat was adamant that he would stay around for the birth of his brother’s baby boy.

“He held the baby when they came to visit him in the hospice – it was like he held out for those key moments in the hours before he died.

“Pat managed to get the energy to sit on a chair to hold the baby and to give him a kiss, and we were very lucky and blessed that he had that time.

“I think it meant a lot to Pat.”

While Yvonne and Robert didn’t want to know the gender of their baby ahead of the birth, they got a nurse to write it down and put it in an envelope so they could give it to Pat in case he died before the birth.

Shortly after he met his baby nephew, Pat went back to bed as his energy was sapping, and he peacefully passed away surrounded by his family.

Tracey said: “He really fought it and he was so strong, right to the end. He went very peacefully.

“He was in St Catherine’s Ward in Harold’s Cross, and I can’t thank the staff enough – I really feel that they’re true angels, they’re very special people.”

She added: “It was quite hard going home without him, it was devastating.”

Before he died, Pat told his and Tracey’s five-year-old daughter Lily to “make sure that she would take care” of her new cousin, which Lily has diligently done since the day he was born, with Tracey adding that Lily is “very protective” of baby Patrick.

Reflecting on her husband’s battle with cancer, Tracey said: “I’m just very, very proud of him. He had so much strength and courage.”

Pat’s Funeral Mass will be held today, Thursday, June 27, at 10am in St Agnes’s Church, Crumlin Village and afterwards to Newlands Cross Crematorium.

Pat is survived by his wife, Tracey, his children Solomon, Lily, Nicolle and Kelly, his mother, Esther, his granddaughter Penny, his brothers Greg, Robert and Stephen and his sisters Linda and Grace.

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