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About the Author:
Jeanette Gallen (Harkin) was born in Co Donegal in September 1975. She attended the Loreto Convent in Letterkenny and went on to study both Nursing and Chiropody. Over the years she has enjoyed writing poetry and short stories and Life Be Golden is her first work of fiction. Jeanette is married to Patrick Gallen with two children and two step-children.
About the Book:
With an exciting medical career, a new apartment and a wedding to plan Kevin Peters feels that everything is going his way. Little does he know that his life is about to change forever with the discovery of an old shoe box. Its contents become the only real clues to Kevin’s biological past. With the support of his fiancée Stacey and their best friends Neil, Jeff and Lisa they embark on a journey of self discovery which tests their friendships, their loyalties and unlocks secrets from their pasts.
Little Helen a child of eight is Kevin’s very first case study patient who has battled cancer twice in her short life and is still fighting. Her mother Marjorie is her sole carer who gave up a drug fuelled past and a druggie partner to be the best mother she can possibly be.
‘Yes, yes, I remember that ring. It was your father who owned it, a man whose heart broke giving away his beautiful little child. I felt so sorry for him as he held you for hours after you were born. He cried so much I thought his heart was going to break. Over the years I have told so many people about your father because he is someone I will never forget. Three days after your mother was discharged he returned to the hospital and he begged me to let him see you one last time. We sat at this very table and although it was against hospital policy, I just had to find a way to fulfill his wish. You were in the neo-natal unit because you were premature and the matron was my friend and although she was not happy at my request she found it in her heart to allow him hold you one last time. She allowed him to stay with you for ten minutes and although he never spoke to us
once while he held you, we could both feel his pain. He was a very young man, maybe only 19 or 20, but he seemed mature for his age and he thanked us profusely when he left. Through his tears he took that ring off his finger and asked me to make sure it was sent with you when you left the hospital. He also produced a note in an envelope which he had already written and it was to go with you also. I signed that bracelet as did the matron, and as we watched your father shuffle down the corridor, we could hear him sobbing. I have never in my entire life crossed paths with someone who was so broken at the thought of giving away part of their life.
At 5.25pm Kevin woke suddenly. He had slept longer than he had planned. He was soaking from a cold sweat and lay on his bed trying to remember what he had just been dreaming about. He could hear a sound coming from downstairs and had to strain to hear where it was coming from. Within seconds he realized it was his mobile phone. He jumped out of bed but couldn’t find his phone anywhere and by the time he realized it was in his jacket pocket it rang off. He didn’t bother to check it.
If it’s important, he thought, they will ring back. He was hardly back in his bedroom when it started to ring again.
This time he ran to it as quickly as he could but not quickly enough it rang off again. He checked the call register and realized there were three calls within the last few minutes from Dr Philips. This wasn’t a good sign. Dr Philips rarely contacted him on his days off unless it was something extremely urgent. Helen he thought.
He called Dr Philips’ number and he answered after the very first ring.
‘Kevin, thank God. You must come in immediately.
There has been an accident. It’s Stacey.’
‘What do you mean it’s Stacey?’ said Kevin, desperately.
‘I’m afraid Stacey has had an accident. We are working on her right now. I have to get back in there. Get here as soon as you can.’
‘What kind of accident?’
‘I don’t have time to explain but I won’t lie to you it’s serious. I really have to go. I will explain everything when you get here.’
Life Be Golden