Community is rallying around to bring James home to Union Hall

January 23rd, 2018 10:05 PM

By Southern Star Team

Committee members and family with James Deasy are, from left, Garry Minihane, Faoilain Deasy, Haulie Hurley, James, Terry Minihane and Anne Deasy. Missing from photo are committee members Anthony Walsh and Pamela Deasy.

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A MAJOR camapign is underway to get a West Cork man back home to his family after he suffered life changing injuries in an accident. 

Last March, James Deasy from Union Hall sustained critical injuries after falling from a height while cutting a tree at his home. 

Skibbereen Ambulance, West Cork Rapid Response and Rescue 115 Helicopter from Shannon responded to the emergency and treated the father of two at the scene. 

James was admitted to Cork University Hospital with serious head and brain injuries and multiple fractures to his hands and legs. He was in a coma for 11 days and underwent multiple surgeries to his head and leg.

James’s wife, Ann and his son maintained a bedside vigil and after 11 days James began to show some signs of improvement. 

Initially, the self-employed man in his 50s was unable to speak, feed and had no mobility. But James is a fighter, and with the wonderful support of his family and staff at Cork University Hospital (CUH), he began his journey back. 

He was transferred from the high dependency unit at CUH to the neuro ward to further facilitate his rehabilitation. Over the following five weeks, James regained his ability to eat, his speech improved and he was able to stand with the aid of a mobility stander. 

James was then transferred to the Rehabilitation Unit at Bantry General Hospital where his intensive rehab programme continued until the end of July when he was transferred to the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dún Laoghaire. On October 20th he returned to Rehab at Bantry Hospital. 

Soon after, with the assistance of hospital specialists, James went back home on a trial visit to Union Hall to see if it was possible to manage and once again live in the home he loved. 

Unfortunately for James and his family, their home is completely unsuitable for his needs. James is unable to get up the stairs to the bathroom or bedroom, and the stairs in the house cannot be modified to accommodate a specialised stair lift.

Temporary accommodation has been sourced in Union Hall to allow James short visits to spend time with his family. The duration of these visits is now being extended and James is making steady progress. He is very positive in everything he does and anyone who visits him is always greeted with a smile. James is now able to walk on the level for short distances with the assistance of a walking aid; for longer distances he has to use a wheelchair.

Some days James’s mobility is good, other days not so good. Fatigue is a big issue, a result of the acquired brain injury and left-sided weakness. 

The hope now is that James can come home to be with his family full-time, and a committee has been formed locally to ‘Bring James Deasy Home’.

A substantial amount of work needs to be done to modify the house to meet James’s needs. To help to fulfil this dream for James and his family, a major fundraising drive is underway. 

Skibbereen Glow Fun Run, which takes place in February, will make a donation to the fund. Registration is now open for this event and people can register by logging onto the Skibbereen Glow Run Facebook page and following the link. 

A sponsored cycle takes on Friday and Saturday April 6th and 7th will also benefit the fund. The cycle will start in Dunmore East and finish in Cork on day one. 

The second leg will start in Cork city and finish in Union Hall. 

A fundraising night in Union Hall on the night, more details of this event will be published later. 

A Facebook Page ‘Bring James Deasy Home’ will be posted shortly where poeople can sponsor the cyclists or make a donation to the fund.

Committee member Garry Minihane said it was a case of  the ‘community helping one of their own.’ 

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