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Despite providing essential, often life-saving services within our health system, newly-qualified nurses in this country face low starting salaries and increasingly tough working-conditions.

Understandably, the Irish Nurses And Midwives Organisation is now desperately appealing to the government to improve pay, hours, staffing levels, and post graduate opportunities.

But while unions and politicians remain embattled, ordinary, hard-working nurses are struggling – sometimes desperately so.

Indeed, recently one nurse felt compelled to take to a Facebook page that offers support to those working in the industry.

In a powerfully penned post that has now garnered significant traction online, the unnamed mother makes her compelling argument for pay restoration – whereby the penalties inflicted on the public service sector by Troika-led austerity are eased or abolished.

The nurse has chosen to remain anonymous in order to protect her husband and children; here is an extract from her post

I, like thousands of others, went to college for four years and got my nursing degree.

I got married to a tradesman. We got a mortgage for a three bedroomed house and we had two children. 

We could pay for our mortgage. We had one family holiday a year. We had two cars. Neither of us had new cars but the cars we bought got us to our jobs and back home again. 

We lived a normal life. Nothing fancy. But we got by. Then the banks and the government decided to gamble with our lives. My husband lost his job in the crash. 

And I was forced to take on all the bills including the mortgage. 

It was tough but I did OK. We sold my husband’s car for €3,000. We tightened our belts. 

Then the government decided to punish us even further for their mistakes. They introduced USC. Again we tightened our belts even further. My husband was getting the odd job here and there but his weekly wage was gone. We were struggling to get by.

Gone was the yearly holiday. Gone were the day trips away. Gone was the monthly night out for the two of us.

As if that wasn't enough punishment the government decided that because I'm a nurse, I must pay PRD (Pension Related Deduction). A tax that was only to be introduced as an emergency tax but for some reason we are still being forced to pay. 

We were already at rock bottom… but that destroyed us. Santa suddenly hadn't got a lot of money. Toys were second hand from charity shops. Food was bargain basement end of life food. And our mortgage? I just can't pay it any longer.

I try to pay some money off it but the money that I used to pay for the mortgage is now going to pay USC and PRD. Anything I have left is going on paying for heating, electricity and the kids’ food and schooling. Our heating is one fire in the sitting room and hot water bottles. 

And now the banks have decided that they're going to take our home. They're going to leave us homeless. I've tried to talk to them but they don't want to know. 

I've tried to come to a deal with them to pay off as much as I can but it isn't good enough. They are completely heartless. They want the house. 

We are now going through the repossession courts desperately trying to save the last thing we have left, our little family home. 

I'm used to being verbally and physically abused in my job. I'll never get used to the ward being constantly short staffed and always overcrowded though. Every working day is a nightmare but it's not as tough as constantly going hungry everyday and coming home to see my husband a shadow of his former self.

We were once just a normal couple going about our simple lives and now we are a very broken couple who are desperately trying to save the last thing we have left, the roof over our heads. 

And has our government even tried to help us save our home? Not at all. In fact they haven't even tried to stop the courts from taking our home at all and yet they are responsible for our home being taken from us.  

Have they tried to restore our pay? No. Instead they are trying to lay the blame at our feet that if they restore any of our pay that we will put this country into another recession. How dare they.

They talk about recovery non stop. What recovery? The only ones I see in recovery are the banks and all the self serving politicians! 

Not one of them have tried to help us and yet they're happy enough to hand themselves pay rises of €5,000 each. They make me want to vomit. None of them care. Not one of them. 

I'm a nurse. I'm no longer a proud nurse. I'm well and truly broken and I don't think I'll ever live a normal life again. 

I'm in tears writing this. My heart is just broken. We can't take much more. 

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Just one day after Rihanna made a desperate appeal to fans, her former backup dancer, Shirlene Quigley, has been found.

The 32-year-old dance teacher was located in New Jersey and – according to TMZ – is currently receiving an unspecified form of medical treatment.

Shirlene was reported missing on Monday after her friends and family failed to make contact with her.

She was reportedly seen boarding a Manhattan-bound bus, but it was unclear as to where exactly she was going.

Her phone was then located in a Chelsea bridal shop.

She was described as being in a “euphoric” state of mind in the lead-up to her disappearance, with one friend alleging that they received a strange Facebook message from the dancer telling them to “get ready, it’s about to happen”.

 

 its @_nina_christina_ wedding!!!!!! #TheTateWedding #hair #makeup #weddingday #bridesmaid #HairandMakeupready

A photo posted by Princess In Pumps (@shirlenequigley) on

We hope Shirlene makes a speedy recovery.

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Niall Horan fans, we've some pretty bad news for you all today.

The singer has sent his fans into meltdown after revealing he was admitted into hospital.

The Mullingar man shared a photo on his Snapchat of himself in a hospital bed with plugs strapped onto his chest. 

 

Drake did an amazing job at the staples last night , @champagnepapi @ashcoley3

A photo posted by Niall horan (@niallhoran) on

He told his followers on the social media site that he is suffering from Acid Reflux.

He captioned the picture: “Hooked up at the docs office – acid reflux is no  joke."

Acid Reflux is unfortunately known to affect your vocal chords, which can result in a scratchy, uncomfortable voice.

So, it might be a while until he can record that solo album he just signed with Universal Records.

We hope he gets better soon!

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Jacinta Kelleher is 34 and lives in Dublin with her husband, David.

She was first diagnosed with kidney cancer three-and-a-half years ago. Since then, numerous other tumours have been located around her body.

Yesterday, she discovered that her current drug treatment programme isn’t working.

Jacinta has just one option left: a life-saving drug known as Optivo, which is currently not available in Ireland despite being routinely used in the UK and US.

She has begun an online petition to urge Minister For Health Simon Harris to change this policy. You can support Jacinta and sign here.

Also a passionate advocator for the cancer support charity, Arc, this is her heartbreaking story in her own words…

It all started around mid 2011. I started getting a lot of colds and flu, and really bad bouts of tonsillitis.

As time went on, I started to suffer with constant tiredness too. Even simple things such as getting up for work were horrible.

I woke up on January 1, 2013 with pain radiating from my left side. When I put my hand on my stomach to see what it was, I could feel a big lump. My GP sent me straight to St. James’s Hospital for a scan on my stomach.

I waited in an empty bay in A&E for the results. No bed, no chair – simply because there was none free.

Eventually, a lovely young doctor appeared and explained that they'd like to admit me to treat “the mass that was on my kidneys”. I asked her was she talking about cancer; she gave me a sympathetic nod.

In that moment, my life changed forever. 

Over the next eight days, there was a whirlwind of scans, tests and biopsies; all confirming I had a kidney cancer known as renal cell carcinoma.

I had my left kidney removed along with 18 glands on January 10, 2013. The recovery was tough. I was released after two weeks… and just ten days later I was back in A&E. I had been bleeding internally and the stale blood had burst into my stomach cavity causing extreme pain and an infection.

When I met with one of my doctors post surgery, he has explained to me that my cancer had spread out of the kidney and into my lymph nodes. He told me I had five years; I was just 31 at the time.

Around the same time, David and I were planning our wedding – we were due to get married in Spain that September.

Everything was booked; deposits were paid for. But in light of what the doctor had told me, the future was very uncertain – meaning we hastily brought our Big Day forward to that June.

We booked Lexlip Manor and scrapped together plans and schedules, not focusing too much on what lay ahead.

And then, just a few weeks before our nuptials, I had a scan that came back clear – it seemed miraculous, like everything was coming together for the better.

Still, that blissful period didn’t last too long,

My next scan was in August 2013 and this showed the first sigh of reoccurrence: my adrenal gland was enlarged.

In March 2014 I had it removed in Tallaght Hospital. During the surgery, the doctor had to remove glands from around my heart and also shave some from my aorta. Biopsies on three cysts from my thyroid later proved they were also cancerous.

In July 2014, I had three-quarters of my thyroid removed in the Eye & Ear hospital.

Around Christmas 2014, I began to notice a bit of pain behind my eye, and also I was losing my balance a lot – a CT scan in February 2015 confirmed there was a tumour on top of my eye.

Just two weeks later I was back in the Eye & Ear having an orbitotomy, which involved fracturing my skull to remove that tumour. 

Then last December a scan found six small tumours in my abdomen. Doctors decided to try an oral chemo/targeted drug treatment programme. There are three of these drugs approved for use in Ireland by the HSE: Sutent, Votrient and Inlyta.

I started Sutent in early February, and had to stop taking it five days later. I was just so ill.

On April 10 I was admitted to James’s to start Votrient. It was tough going, but I managed – despite sometimes spending days in bed because of fatigue.

Sadly, I received the results of my most recent scan yesterday: Votrient isn’t working either. They won’t bother trying Inlyta: if the other two didn’t work the third option won’t either.

I am currently living with 11 tumours… two in my lungs, one in my right kidney, six in my abdomen, one where kidney was removed and one in my pelvis.

Optivo is my final and only option left – it is proven to save and lengthen the lives of those with kidney, lung and melanoma cancers. I have started an online petition to have it made widely available via the HSE.

Thankfully, my doctors have made a special application on my behalf on compassionate grounds for the drug. The outcome of that process is not certain, but there is a glimmer of hope for me at least.

The drug costs anything from €50,000 – €100,000 per year of treatment and at the moment, health authorities in this country feel that cost is too much. A price is put on human life – and to be told you're not worth it is heartbreaking for cancer patients and their families.

I’m not one to wallow, but so much has already been taken from me.

The biggest thing is that I can’t have a family: David and I have always spoken about children – we were the kind of couple who had names picked out after the first few dates! That and even simple things like going out with my friends are impossible.

I have bad days – and I’m eternally grateful to Arc, the cancer support charity that does incredible work. Mentally as well as physically, going through numerous surgeries is tough, and without Arc I just don’t know if I could keep going.

My focus now is on the petition – to get enough signatures to go to the Minister Of Health.

Beyond that? It’s one day at a time…

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An unimaginable tragedy: an eight-year-old girl enjoying a day out in a popular zoo died after a rock was hurled at her by an elephant. 

According to eye-witnesses, the youngster was on her dad's shoulders getting a photograph taken by her mother when the tragedy took place. 

She was struck on the head and later died in hospital.

The establishment, Rabat Zoo on the east coast of Morocco, said afterwards in a statement that it was greatly saddened by the incident.

However,  it added that "accidents of this type are rare, unforeseeable and unusual".

It furthermore highlighted that other accidents have taken place recently in other international zoos – citing Disney World Orlando, where a child was taken a killed by an alligator, and Cincinnati Zoo, where a boy fell into a gorilla enclosure but survived – as examples. 

An investigation into the incident has now been launched, says moroccoworldnews.com.

Videos posted to YouTube depict the little girl receiving medical care from passersby.

Some social media noted that the ambulance was delayed arriving to treat the the youngster.On TripAdvisor, the zoo – which opened in 2012 – has largely positive feedback.

Indeed, one visitor wrote that it is a "world-class zoo and family-friendly". They added: "You can easily navigate a baby stroller throughout the zoo."

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Rita Ora was taken into hospital last night, with sources telling the Mail Online that she "has been working solidly for the past few months."

Just days before, Rita was in court for the sentencing of an intruder to her home, who stole up to £200,000 worth of goods.

Following a busy past few days, the Hot Right Now singer took to Twitter to share a snap of her lying in a hospital bed with a drip in her arm.

She captioned the post: "Today was pretty tough but I'm getting through it thank you to all of you for the support! I love you!! #exhaustionisreal."

The insider revealed: "Yes, she was exhausted – a result of not having a break. She's been working solidly for the last few months and then when she can she parties.

"Over the last few months she has been flying back and forth between Vancouver and LA – on 50 Shades set in Vancouver and then recording studio in LA."

The source added: "She then flew to the UK for the court trial and then went to Glastonbury for a few days partying and then came back on Monday and shot a two day campaign in London this Tuesday and Wednesday."

We hope she's feeling better now!

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With producers already being threatened with legal action for unauthorised filming in Ibiza, the production of the upcoming series of Geordie Shore hasn't exactly been going to plan.

And now it's been revealed that cast member Scotty T had to be rushed to hospital earlier this week after a drunken fall on the famous party island.

According to The Sun, the 28-year-old Geordie "snapped" his arm on a night out and will be in a cast for the rest of the series.

A source told the paper: “Ibiza and Mallorca has already been a nightmare with the filming ban in place so the cast all went out on the lash on their day off."

“Scotty T had an unfortunate fall a few hours into drinking and hit it so hard his arm snapped."

“He was reeling in agony and rushed to hospital where doctors said it was fractured and put it in a cast.”

To make matters worse, the fall wasn't caught on camera which has left producers in a sticky situation as they'll have to explain to viewers where Scotty's mysterious bandage came from.

The source said: "While it was a bad night for Scotty, it is also proving a headache for producers since none of it was filmed so they have to try and tell the story of Scotty T suddenly appearing in a cast with no footage."  Awkward!

Despite being told to take it handy, Scotty has decided a fractured arm isn't enough to stop his partying ways.

He's joined the team in Kavos to continue filming – what a pro!

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Professor Green fans have had a worrying few hours after the star shared a picture last night from his hospital bed.

The British rapper had been suffering from pains for six hours when he was admitted to hospital and had to be kept in overnight to ensure he didn't have a strangulated hernia.

Thankfully, he has since posted an update to his Instagram account saying: "Woke up to a million text messages – I’m fine, apart from the builders outside my house and the lack of sleep X."

 

Woke up to a million text messages – I'm fine, apart from the builders outside my house and the lack of sleep X

A photo posted by Stephen Manderson (@professorgreen) on

The news comes just weeks after Pro Green – who has recently been linked to Irish model Vogue Williams – revealed he needs surgery to treat his 10cm hernia "Henry".

Fans have been expressing their relief by commenting on his latest post.

Awh!  We're delighted to hear the star is okay.

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We all know Professor Green has had a rough couple of weeks.

He ended his marriage to Millie Mackintosh last month, who has now reunited with her Made In Chelsea ex, Hugo Taylor.

But now, the rapper has his fans in uproar over a photo he posted of himself in hospital.

In an Instagram post, Pro Green explained that he went to A&E after being in pain for 6 hours straight.

He added that the doctors had to rule out a "strangulated hernia," which meant he had to stay in the hospital all night.

"Been in A & E all night ruling out a strangulated hernia. Nearing 6 hrs since the pain/discomfort started – think if it was I'd be dead already. Only plus is cute staff."

Fans then rushed to the star's social media accounts to wish him good health:

We hope he feels better soon!

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TMZ has reported that Magic Mike star Joe Manganiello has been hospitalised because of appendicitis.

The actor had to have surgery to remove his appendix late last week. One source told the website that his appendix burst while at home and the doctors were very alarmed when he came in.

 

A photo posted by Joe Manganiello (@joemanganiello) on

His rep confirmed that he has a "chronic condition" but didn't go into detail as this is the second time Joe has had to have surgery in the past year.

While filming Magic Mike XXL, the newlywed tore a muscle in his bicep which resulted in surgery. We hope Joe bounces back soon!

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Prince has been rushed to hospital after falling ill while on board a flight.

When the singer fell ill, the plane had to make an emergency landing in Illinois on Friday morning.

According to TMZ, he had been suffering from the flu for a number of weeks but it was thought he had recovered, yet he took a turn for the worse yesterday.

He was treated in the hospital for three hours before being released. His rep confirmed that he returned to his plane and is now resting at home.

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It seems that Gemma Collins just can't stay put in the Big Brother house for too long.

After she attempted to flee from the show yesterday, the reality star got into a spot of bother while she was preparing potatoes today.

As she was cutting the veg, Gemma accidently sliced her own finger. Ouch.

After the commotion, she was rushed to the Diary Room for preliminary treatment and was then transferred to hospital because she needed stitches.

"It's through to the bone," she panicked, as Christopher tried to help her.

She later returned to the house a little worse for wear, but is said to be doing OK.

With the rate that this show is going, it's a wonder if anyone will come out on top. 

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