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xmas box How Olympic champion Kellie Harrington brought Christmas cheer to hospital patients

The Olympic champion has helped lift the spirits of those who couldn’t go home for the festive period

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Olympic champion Kellie Harrington. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Olympic champion Kellie Harrington. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Olympic champion Kellie Harrington. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Olympic boxing champion Kellie Harrington has been an inspiration to patients in the hospital where she works in Dublin, including those who were unable to go home for the Christmas period due to Covid-19.

Shane Madigan, clinical nurse manager at St Vincent’s Hospital, Fairview, where Harrington works as a cleaner, said she is very important to the patients.

“We are kind of like an extended family because the patients who are on our ward are there a long time and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon,” he said.

“And with Covid, the patients don’t get to go home to their families for Christmas like they have before as they’re cocooning, so there has been no let-up for them. Kellie has definitely been something different and brought a lot of excitement for them.”

Mr Madigan said her incredible gold medal win at the Tokyo Olympics in August is still spoken about and celebrated in the ward, while her “shrine” only came down off the wall recently to make way for Christmas decorations.

He added that staff and patients in the ward are delighted to have Harrington back to work, as they didn’t expect her to return so soon after her brilliant Olympic success.

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