Fundraising campaign for Cork man injured in freak accident raises €90,000

Sarah Slater

A fundraising campaign launched by friends of a young Cork man who suffered a traumatic brain injury in the US following a freak accident has raised €90,000 to help fund his recovery.

Five weeks ago on October 5, Liam O’Connell, from Ballincollig, who is affectionately known as Doug by friends, suffered serious head injuries after a freak accident involving an electric scooter while holidaying in Los Angeles, California.

The 31-year-old had been working as a civil engineer in Vancouver, Canada, for the past eight years.

Three weeks ago he was moved out Intensive Care in Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Centre after being in a critical condition. Doctors diagnosed him with a fractured skull, subdural bleeding and traumatic swelling of the brain and was placed in an induced coma.

Emergency surgery involving a decompressive craniectomy procedure, where a section of his skull was removed to relieve pressure on his brain was carried out by specialist medics.

Posting an update on the fundraising page, The Fight of Liam (Doug’s) Life on crowdfunding site, gofundme.com, his friends said: “Since our last update, Liam has shown his strength in continuing to progress at a fantastic rate in his recovery. He is communicating a lot more and we were lucky enough to have a few phone calls with him over the last week.

“We are delighted to say that he has began physio(therapy) treatment daily which involves some assisted standing and walking.

“Liam (has since been )transferred to the California Rehabilitation Centre in Los Angeles to continue his rehabilitation.

Unfortunately, there has been a delay with his transfer to Canada which we hope will get resolved asap. Once resolved Liam will be moved to a hospital in Vancouver where he will continue his treatment and also begin private rehabilitation, thanks to donations received to the campaign.

"We will continue to update everyone as much as we can. Hopefully by our next update Liam will be back in the familiar surroundings of Vancouver and continuing his progress at the same rate.”

The campaign hopes to raise €100,000 for Mr O’Connell.

Liam was described by close friend Cian O’Callaghan as being, “a role model to his younger twin brothers Eoin and Gearoid, best friend to his older sister Caitríona, and loving son of Kathleen and Dave.

Liam holds a remarkable love and respect for his family, and his extensive circle of friends is a true testament of his character.

Donations can be made to: gofundme.com/fight-of-his-life-liam-doug

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