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Owens Family donates defibrillator to hospital

20th November 2017

Mark Owens was 47 years’ old when he went into cardiac arrest. He was brought to St. Michael’s where the ED staff were able to resuscitate him. Unfortunately, he died a week later.

It was then that his family and friends decided that the best way to honour Mark’s memory was to do something for other people. Over the last three years, they have raised funds for the Irish Heart Foundation, for St. Michael’s and most recently they have raised funds for Childline.

On 11 September 2017, Mark’s son, (also called Mark), Mark’s brother, Ray, and Mark’s friend, Stephen Gilroy, joined us in St. Michael’s to formally donate the amount of €6195, used by the ED to buy a new defibrillator for the hospital. Talking about the decision to fundraise for the hospital, Mark, Ray and Stephen noted that “St. Michael’s, that was the first thing that came up. The main thing that stood out was that we never see any fundraising for Michael’s Hospital. You see it for the Hospice, you see it for everyone else”. The fundraising events included a football match between Liverpool and Manchester United fans and a 10km walk of the Dun Laoghaire piers.  “Stephen came up with the idea of the 10-mile walk, starting out here, walking up and down the piers and back up. And the numbers we got, the interest that was shown, was amazing… Everyone that raised money, they’ve all been in Michael’s at some stage. It’s a community thing.”  Approximately 80 people walked the piers for the fundraiser and afterwards 250-300 people came to the evening fundraising event and celebration of Mark’s life.


Mark’s son, also called Mark, noted that the football match between Liverpool and Manchester United supporters would have appealed to his dad. “He always wanted to play a football match – get all the Liverpool supporters among his mates to play against all the Man United fans. It was a friend of his that came up with the idea when he passed away, to do that on his birthday. To play the match and then have a bit of a day just to remember him. So we went ahead with that.”

Olive Vines, Nurse Manager in the Emergency Department, thanked the family for the donation which enabled the Department to buy a new defibrillator. Mark joked that it was the “Rolls Royce” of defibrillators and Ray noted that there seemed to be “lots of happy heads in there [ED]” since it arrived. Fittingly enough, when the family were here on 11 September, the defibrillator was actually in use. It meant that they couldn’t see the plaque which adorns the defibrillator but you can see it here. 

We are so grateful to all the Owens family, and to those who participated in the fundraising efforts. Your generosity in supporting St. Michael’s Hospital will make a concrete difference to the many people who will benefit from this life-saving equipment. Thank you.