A CAHERAGH man has raised over €30,000 for the Air Ambulance – which is enough to cover 10 rescue missions.
Darren Lynch, who plays for O’Donovan Rossa and works for Drinagh Co-op, organised a cycle for the charity just 10 weeks after he was involved in a serious cycling accident. The 31-year-old suffered injuries to his head and face when he crashed while taking part in a cycle last July.
Darren was taking part in the Mizen Looper charity cycle from Drimoleague to Mizen Head when he blacked out and fell from the bike, with his face taking 100% of the impact. A fellow cyclist saw his unaccompanied bike on the road and discovered him over a wall, lying unconscious in scrubland.
He was airlifted to Cork University Hospital by the charity-funded Air Ambulance and believes his recovery is down to all the emergency services who treated him that day. ‘I was one of five incidents that the helicopter responded to that day in July which really puts into perspective how important this service is,’ he said.
Darren and his friends, Aaron and Evan Collins, David Williams, Barry O’Donovan and Brian O’Sullivan, came up with the idea of organising a cycle as he recovered at home.
‘My plan was to raise enough money to cover my own admission, so that was around €3-€4,000, but I raised €31,457 which is enough for 10. So that’s 10 people and their families who will be impacted in a positive way.
He has returned to the playing field and while he has some further medical procedures to undergo, he has made a full recovery. He hopes to make the cycle an annual event, which will grow every year.
Irish Community Air Ambulance chief executive Mícheál Sheridan said: ‘We’re often called to cycling incidents in remote locations like West Cork and it’s great to meet former patients and see them doing so well. We’re not government-funded so we rely on donations and fundraisers like this to bring hope to people in emergency situations.’