A YOUNG West Cork man left paralysed after a car crash is finally set to leave the nursing home where he’s been cared for, for the past year, and return home to his family.
PJ Coffey (22) from Enniskeane suffered a devastating spinal injury in a car accident near Clonakilty in May 2018 which saw his life changed in an instant.
After being initially treated in the CUH for his injuries, he spent a further six months in the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire.
His mother Eileen explains how after being discharged from there PJ went to a special unit at Faranlea Nursing home, Cork city, where it was initially thought he’d spend a few months.
Eileen and her husband Paddy made adaptions to their home at Lisnacunna at their own expense and set the ball in motion to get a home care package in place from the HSE for their son.
‘But December 21st marked his full year there,’ said Eileen acknowledging they weren’t the only ones struggling.
Eileen and her husband Paddy brought PJ home every weekend during this time and they are now looking forward to his permanent return home in February.
After a long wait they’ve now got a care package in place from the HSE as PJ requires extensive care.
It’s welcome news for the family after Paddy was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, and PJ’s best friend awaits a liver transplant.
‘At last this is light at the end of the tunnel for us,’ she said. ‘PJ is doing really well despite all this.
‘He attends Elite Fitness gym which specialises in helping those with spinal injuries on the Marina.
‘He has become pals with others in the same situation including Jack O’Driscoll, the Mayfield lad left paralysed in an accident during storm Emma and Ian O’Connell who was left paralysed after falling from his bike in Killarney National Park.’
Eileen said the young men are a support to each other and that PJ is also hoping to try the gym’s exoskeleton suit which helps wheelchair users to build strength and muscle.
She described her son as an ‘amazing young man’ who ‘has never complained from the day he landed in his wheelchair.’
Eileen also thanked their community for their ongoing support and fundraising of more than €14,000 which allowed them purchase a vehicle suitable to transport PJ and cover other additional expenses associated with his care.