A YOUNG man has set up a GoFundMe campaign to bring his stepdad home from hospital.
Chris Lindeman said he is tired of seeing his mum, Jen, hurting by having to visit her husband, Dave Walker, through a ground floor window at Bantry General Hospital.
‘Mum can’t touch him, or hug him, or do anything,’ said Chris. ‘This is the first time they have been apart since 2009, so it is tough on her, it’s tough on both of them.’
At the end of February, the 71-year-old was taken to Cork University Hospital and put into an induced coma after he had a bleed on his brain.
But such was his progress that he was moved back to Bantry General Hospital about a week later.
For about six weeks – until the easing of travel restrictions on Monday, April 12th – it was nearly impossible for anyone from his family to visit him. But even with the reopening of inter-county travel, Jen is still only able to do a window visit.
‘All of this has been extremely difficult for my mum because before the stroke happened they were connected at the hip,’ said Chris, who resolved to help by establishing the ‘Help Dave Get Home To See His Wife Jen Safely’ GoFundMe campaign.
Initially, he set a target of €10,000 so that the house could be modified for wheelchair use. He wanted to put in hand rails, make the bathroom accessible, ensure the kitchen is safe, and put a hoist for the bed in place.
Chris also wants to create a safe 30m path from the gate of their property at Crostella in Glengarriff to the front door. At the moment, it is rough ground and could be dangerous for Dave, who is in a wheelchair.
‘By making these improvements,’ Chris said, ‘there’s a better chance of the hospital allowing him to return home sooner as he will be in a safe place that will allow him to rest and heal from his stroke.’
So far, Chris has raised €435. He said his mum received a quote of €2,700 for the new path and has since discovered she can apply for grants to adapt their home.
As a result, Chris has modified the fundraising target to €5,000 for some of the more urgent modifications and to have the pathway completed before August, when Dave is likely to return home.
‘Before this happened,’ Chris said, ‘he was always doing projects in the house and around the garden. Dave was always an active man and helped people in the community where they live on the Barley Lake Road.’
‘He is a very gentle and kind man,’ said Chris, who made the point, ‘Dave is not my biological father but he has made me into the man I am today.’