On 21 September 2018 the Academic Unit of Neurology, Trinity College Dublin, held a ceremony to mark the establishment of a PhD Scholarship in memory of Galway man Andrew Lydon.

The four-year scholarship will support a PhD Scholarship in Motor Neurone Disease Research, and has been awarded to the Academic Unit of Neurology, TCD, by the Andrew Lydon Trust.

Andrew Lydon was a young Connemara-based computer programmer and father of two teenagers. He was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2010.. By 2015 he had developed breathing problems that required invasive mechanical ventilation requiring a lot of support to allow him to live at home. Andrew’s community in An Cheathru Rua, Galway, set up a trust fund to raise money to
make that happen.

Sadly, and after a long battle, Andrew passed away in December 2017 before it was possible for him to get home.

Andrew’s family and community have now decided to establish a scholarship in his name to commemorate his life and his long and courageous battle with MND. Mary Lynch McDonagh and the members of the Andrew Lydon Trust, along with Andrew’s wife Sally and his children Seosamh and Molly attended the ceremony in Trinity College on 21 Sept.

Dr Rangariroyashe Chipika, recipient of the scholarship, will pursue her PhD focusing on changes in Brain Imaging and Signa Analysis in MND. Professor Peter Bede, who is supervising Dr Chipika’s work, was one of Andrew’s doctors, along with Professo Orla Hardiman, Head of the Academic Unit of Neurology. “Andrew was a truly special person,” said Professor Bede. “It is fitting that this scholarship will focus on computational analysis of imaging signals. Andrew was a brilliant computer programmer, and  had many long discussions with him about computers, coding and technology as he participated in our brain imaging studies.”