My name is Brian and I attended Life Coaching sessions with Dessie. I suffered a spinal cord injury in 2014. Some 12 months later I was put in touch with Dessie as I felt I needed some direction in my life after such a life changing accident.

As Dessie endured a similar type of injury he knew and understood exactly my problems and worries in life. As anyone that has had a spinal cord injury knows, there are some very personal issues you are left with to face for the rest of your days. I found it difficult to discuss these problems with family or friends, but Dessie told me to be as open in discussion with him as I wanted to be. It felt great to be able express myself openly with him with the most private of issues.

For me, returning to work was a big thing. To return to the type of work I was in pre-accident was not suitable for me. This worried me a lot as I spent 20 years at this type of work and had no idea what would suit me now. Dessie asked questions and gave me some ideas which left me with options to take. I took a few computer and educational courses and these really made me feel I was achieving something. I am now in full time employment in what I can describe as probably the best and most enjoyable employment I have worked in.

At my meetings with Dessie what really stuck in my mind was how he told me to write down five or six things I had done each day that made me feel good about myself. When I felt a bit down and out I would think of the good things I achieved that day and this helped clear my mind.

Dessie can’t wave a magic wand and make everything what it was, but he most certainly helped me mentally and emotionally to overcome barriers in my life. A great guy with a huge positive attitude to life.


I firmly believed the challenges I faced at various times in my life were too big to overcome. Sustaining the spinal cord injury was one of those times. I felt lost, ashamed, angry and sad but I did my best to hide those feelings from those around me. My mind tricked me into thinking that sharing them was a sign of weakness. Burying them ‘under the carpet’ did nothing but amplify how bad I felt internally. It turned the mountain I had to climb into an infinite wall I would never overcome.

Thankfully I made the decision to be honest about what was going on for me and things started to shift. My mental and emotional well-being improved and my physical body started to heal as a result. The infinite wall I had to climb turned into a mountain that I wanted to climb.

Being honest about how we truly feel is not easy – especially in our society today. Social media encourages us to post about how perfect our lives are which can be stressful to put it mildly.

Sometimes doing what is difficult is extremely important!

If you have been holding onto feelings such as sadness, guilt, shame or anxiety, make the brave decision to share them with someone in order to let them go.

Your life is way too precious to waste even a second – be brave and express yourself.


Through working with Dessie, I gained a deep insight into what was happening when I wasn’t performing at my best, both professionally and personally. Dessie supported me in understanding why I felt as I did when “things weren’t going my way”. We spent time identifying an underlying fear of failure and a personal feeling of “not being good enough” and how these feelings were holding me back and affecting how I behaved and approached situations. I found that it was only by understanding why, that I was truly able to change and make real progress. Through working with Dessie, I gained a new perspective on life, leading to a happier & healthier self and in turn this has supported and enabled my career progression as a people manager


I have felt the coaching has particularly helped me overcome a daily feeling of anxiety with regard to the direction my life is headed. It has also helped me to stop being so self critical – to focus on positives and not so much on negatives.

All in all I feel the biggest thing I have gained from coaching is that I now feel worthy – something I haven’t felt in many years


My name is Johnny and I’m 47. I had surgery in my T1 in 2015, where I ran in to hospital and had my operation 3 hours later. I knew going for the surgery that the outcome could have been a lot worse.

When I came out of hospital after 22 weeks there was so much going on in my head. I was Angry, Anxious, Afraid but above all of these, I felt Alone even with all my family and friends.

Then I was introduced to Dessie first I thought this is going to be a load of rubbish – I’m a grown man – I don’t need any help – I will just have to get over it. All I needed to do was ring someone and things would be done, but things were moving so slow and I was getting more frustrated. It was like fighting a losing battle.

Then, the coaching began. It was time to find my space. It was very strange trying to learn to relax with a person you just met, it’s not very relaxing, but after 2 or 3 sessions a trust had built up. I was surprised that with a few relaxation techniques, I was starting to find a little calm. Calming down helped me see things a little more clearly. Seeing things more clearly helped me find answers. Answer helped me to relax. Everything has knock on effect and all these small steps help me find my space. I still get Angry, Anxious , Afraid but I don’t feel so Alone anymore.

I will always be ever so thankful for having Dessie as a Mind Health Coach.


Since starting working with Dessie he has helped me to shine a light on the causes of my anxiety that have held me back in my relationships. Not only have we found our way to the causes but we have learned how to deal with them and my anxiety is a mere whisper compared to how it used to sound.

I look forward to continuing our work together


The mind health coaching has really helped me, I feel better able to cope with negative thoughts and feelings. My self esteem and confidence was very low when I first started the coaching and I am finding that I am starting to value myself a lot more and am enjoying life more


Healthcare 21 were delighted to have Dessie Fitzgerald perform the keynote address at our annual fundraising event last year. I initially met him for a coffee to discuss the project and quickly learned he is one of those people you meet for the first time and feel like you’ve known years. Dessie is very open and honest and he delivered a superb address during which he totally captivated his audience.

While the topic was one of his experience of tragedy and sadness, his ability to lift the energy and mood in the room was inspirational and heart lifting. Dessie is a powerful speaker. In a time when self-care and mindfulness has never been more important, his message is not to be missed. We would look forward to working with him again should the opportunity arise.

Claire Newman,
Group Sales and Marketing Executive

I gained very valuable perspectives on myself and an awareness of the underlying insecurities that influence my response to others. I learned how to recognise the triggers for harmful self criticism, and I discovered the difference between ‘not caring’ and ‘not worrying’… all of this has been extremely important in developing confidence in who I am which has influenced my dealings with others. This has had a positive impact in my personal and professional life.

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The main reason I went to see Des can be summed up in one word – FEAR. I was full of it and it seemed to be escalating rather than subsiding. Fear of remaining stuck in my life, unable to move forward and leave the past behind, fear of cutting links to a life that no longer existed. Fear of going into emotions which were raw and painful and allowing myself to feel them rather than just supressing them like I had been. Fear of being vulnerable and allowing someone to see me in that vulnerability. I was afraid of taking action into the unknown.

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