The Motor Neuron Disease team at Trinity College Dublin mourns the death of Fr Tony Coote but his name and legacy will live on with the appointment of Dr Bahman Nassereloslami as the Tony Coote Assistant Professor in Motor Neuron Disease (MND). Dr Nassereloslami has already made breakthrough discoveries in brain wave signalling in MND, and his work will help to drive the quest for new and more effective treatments.
Fr Tony Coote was diagnosed with MND by Professor Orla Hardiman, Professor of Neurology at Trinity College in March 2018 and passed away on 28thAugust, 2019.
Despite his rapidly evolving disability, Fr Coote decided to take direct action to raise funds for MND research and care. As he said: “unless there’s research, there will be no hope for people in the future”.
On 10thJuly 2018, Fr Coote and hundreds of supporters including Professor Hardiman and her team, set off on the first of 28 stages walking from Letterkenny, Co Donegal to Ballydehob, Co Cork. The charity walk took four weeks to complete and raised over €250,000 for MND research at Trinity College.
A documentary about Tony Coote “Walking The Walk” aired on RTE television in December 2018.
Professor Orla Hardiman, a world expert on MND, said:
“Fr Coote will be sadly missed. He touched so many lives in the short time that we knew him. His commitment to raise awareness about MND was because he understood that this is not an untreatable disease, but an underfunded one. And as we seek to find new treatments for this tragic condition, we will draw inspiration from his legacy, and redouble our efforts on behalf of everybody affected by MND.”