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Leonard McBride's legacy: £60k for renal unit that cared for him


Published 31/07/2013

Leonard McBride celebrating his 80th birthday with Western Trust staff
Leonard McBride celebrating his 80th birthday with Western Trust staff

A patient amazed staff at a Northern Ireland hospital unit after leaving it £60,000 in his will.

The generous gentleman, Leonard McBride, attended the renal unit at Altnagelvin Hospital for dialysis three times a week for six years before passing away on March 21, 2013.

The bequest for the Renal Unit Comfort Fund was made as a thank you in recognition of the care and attention provided to him.

Leonard first started dialysis in September 2004 in the renal unit in Tyrone County Hospital before his transfer to Altnagelvin's renal unit in December 2006, which was only 10 minutes from his home.

Western Health and Social Care Trust chairman Gerard Guckian said the gift was a magnificent gesture.

"All of the staff of the renal unit greatly appreciate any donation that can improve the comfort of patients, but to receive one of this magnitude is extraordinary. We confirm that all of this large amount will be used to improve the patient experience in the unit in the years ahead," he said.

Renal unit manager Mary McDevitt described Leonard as "a great character who led a very full life".

"He enjoyed coming to the renal unit and patients and staff enjoyed listening to his fascinating stories about his extensive travels, work, and involvement in the London Theatre," she said

"Leonard has always been very generous to the unit, from bringing regular treats for the staff to his very kindly donation of new flat-screen TVs to the renal unit and Ward 20. We all appreciated his stories and his cheerfulness despite dealing with renal failure and long-term haemodialysis."

Harry McBride, Leonard's nephew, added: "Whenever given the opportunity Leonard would sing the praises of the renal unit. The care and attention he received from staff worked as a tonic and from this, his long-term commitment to the unit began."

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