MND, Self- Isolation and Me (Dr Noel Kavanagh) - IMNDA

MND, Self- Isolation and Me (Dr Noel Kavanagh)

May 15th, 2020

Dr Noel Kavanagh lives in County Meath with his wife Caroline. Noel is retired vet and specialised in pig medicine.  He is a founding member of the European College of Porcine Health management and a practising member of the Academy of Experts and the author of the textbook entitled “Maximizing Pig Herd Health, Management and Production Efficiency.”

He was diagnosed with MND in December 2018. Noel has shared his experience with us during this pandemic….



Noel Kavanagh PIC


I live in the country, near Oldcastle with my wife Caroline. Living in the Country I can walk without the risk of meeting people. I normally walk 4-5k before lunch every day and do light gym work 4 times per week in late morning. I rest for 1 hour in the afternoon.


I get up between 7.30 and 8.15 every morning. During breakfast I read my digital newspapers, The Irish Times, and my French newspaper, Nice Matin, I then rest between 9.30am and 10.30am.


I check my in-box for incoming emails, WhatsApp messages and text messages. I am a member of several WhatsApp and Email groups. I reply to incoming messages and compose new messages.

We have 2 daughters; Kirsten is married to John. They live in Dublin with their three children. Naomi is married to Mathew. They live in London with their three children.

We normally communicate daily on WhatsApp and as a group on FaceTime, for approximately 1 hour.

During the weekend we (3 families) meet on Zoom (iPad App) and chat for upwards of 2 hours. Zoom is great for virtual meetings of 3 or more people in different locations. Our family meetings normally consist of six people in three locations. The children come and go at various stages as they wish. Having lost my voice due to MND, I use my iPad, which is connected by Bluetooth to an external speaker, for communication, using my banked voice on ModelTalker via Predictable.

During April I have spent a substantial amount of time promoting my fundraiser for Research Motor neurone by sending emails and texts to friends, contacts, and acquaintances. To date, I have raised approximately 9,500.

I am currently testing Predictable 6 for Therapy Box, the developer of the text to speech software that I use for voice communication. Currently I devote approximately 2 hours daily to this process of identifying bugs and recommending program enhancements.

I provide Consultancy services to my former laboratory on quality control and Maintenance of Quality Standards.

For leisure time in the evening, I use Netflix, PrimeVideo, and Canal Plus (French Satellite TV, like Sky) and I read. For entertainment, I occasionally watch Trump Press conferences on CNN.

Recent books:

The Lonely Sea and the Sky, by Francis Chichester. Jony Ive by Leandor Kahney, The Summit: How Triumph Turned to Disaster on K2’s Deadliest Days, by Pat Falvey and Pemba Gyalgie,


Recent films:

MoneyBall, Ford v Ferrari, the 1966 le Mans 24-hour race, Coral Reef Paradise


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