THE aunt of a 14-year-old Kealkil boy who suffered life-changing injuries after a bike accident has said the family are incredibly grateful for the community’s support.
Oisín O’Connor was competing in a bike event in Bray in September 2021 when he had an accident resulting in a serious spinal injury.
Oisín spent five months in Crumlin Children’s Hospital, with parents Marie and Wesley at his bedside. He now uses a wheelchair and has progressed to the care of Dun Laoghaire National Rehabilitation Hospital, where the focus is on getting him home to Kealkil permanently.
A major fundraising drive was launched earlier this week to help the teen and his family, and nearly €190,000 was raised in a matter of days.
Oisín’s aunt Aishling O’Leary said the family was extremely touched by the response.
The youngest of five boys, the sports-mad teen played GAA with St Colums, rugby with Bantry Bay RFC and basketball with Coláiste Phobail Bheanntraí.
Aishling said Oisín was ‘almost born with a hurley in his hand’, and was now learning to play darts and table tennis in Dun Laoghaire. She described him as a ‘happy and optimistic boy.’
‘There’s a freshness in his eyes,’ she said.
Oisín has had a few trips home since his accident and Aishling said it highlighted the vital work that needed to be done for his comfort. The family home needs to be extended and modified to support Oisín’s long-term recovery. Funds are also needed for ongoing rehabilitation and equipment costs to ensure a full and independent life.
Rory Doody, secretary of the fundraising committee, said: ‘Being the youngest of five boys, sport has given Oisín a competitive nature and the will to succeed. While there have been exceptionally difficult days, Oisín has continued to smile through the pain, work through the discomfort and adjust to his new circumstances, all the while his eyes shine bright with hope and determination.’ To donate see gofundme.ie.