Limerick couple appeal for help after life-changing Parkinson’s diagnosis

Gerry and Patrice Kelly.

GERRY Kelly from Askeaton woke up one morning and had no idea who the woman and four young men in the house with him were.

The woman was his wife, Patrice, and the young men were Fionn, Jack, Ronan, and Conor, the couple’s four grown children.

In 2018, Gerry was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. After being admitted to hospital with a complete blank slate where every  one of his life’s memories, it was discovered that Gerry had a brain infection.

On foot of further testing, the Askeaton man was told that his form of Parkinson’s disease is a very rare one called ‘Multiple System Atrophy’ (MSA).

Gerry and wide Patrice were teenage sweethearts, having met with Patrice was just 17 years old, she told the Limerick Post.

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“He doesn’t remember any of that now, which is tough,” Patrice confessed.

“The 32 years we have been together, he doesn’t remember much of it. He does know us now and he’s completely aware, but we’re told his condition is life-shortening. They don’t tell us by how much”.

MSA is a rare condition of the nervous system that causes gradual damage to nerve cells in the brain. This affects balance, movement, and the operation of several basic functions, such as breathing, digestion, and bladder control.

“Gerry has a lot of pain and I have to help him upstairs to use the bathroom and that’s very difficult,” Patrice says on the couple’s day to day.

“We’ve been approved for a grant for a downstairs bathroom with a walk-in shower that he will be able to use, but the grant doesn’t cover all the cost. ”

With the rising cost of building materials, 50-year-old Gerry unable to work in his job as a machine operator, and Patrice having to leave work to be his carer, the small amount the family needs to meet the grant might as well be a fortune.

They have set up a GoFundMe page with the modest aim of raising €5,000 to draw down the grant and give Gerry and the whole family a better quality of life.

So far they have raised around half of their goal.

To make a donation and help the family in need, visit