Eoghan (23) paralysed from the neck down after biking accident
A FUNDRAISING campaign for a young Clondalkin man who was left paralysed from the neck down after a mountain biking accident last year was launched over the weekend.
Eoghan Gorman, 23, suffered his life-altering injury in the Dublin Mountains on Sunday, October 3, last year when he came off his bike coming down a trail.
The young man, who is a past pupil of Sacred Heart School in Sruleen and Holy Family Community School in Rathcoole, fractured his C3 vertebrae on his spine, leaving him paralysed.
Eoghan, who had moved out of his family home in the months before the accident and was living with his girlfriend in Newcastle, was rushed to hospital after the accident and placed in an induced coma.
He was unable to breathe independently and was placed on a ventilator.
In recent months, Eoghan has been able to come off the ventilator and is able to breathe unassisted.
He is now paralysed from the neck down and is currently receiving treatment in the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dun Laoghaire with the aim of eventually being able to come home.
A team of friends of the Gorman family set up a GoFundMe campaign over the weekend, called Fight with Eoghan, to raise funds for when Eoghan leaves the rehab centre, either to adapt the existing family home in Clondalkin or to purchase a new home that can accommodate his needs.
Aodhan Smith from Fight with Eoghan told The Echo: “The house will have to be made completely wheelchair accessible.
“Eoghan is paralysed from the neck down, so any movement will require assistance.
“At the moment, his family are looking at whether their house can be adaptable for Eoghan’s needs or if they will need to find somewhere else.”
The devastating injury has been a significant adjustment for Eoghan, who was heavily involved in sports and represented Ireland in numerous taekwondo competitions and at the World Kickboxing Championships in 2016.
At the time of the accident, Eoghan had completed an apprenticeship as a cabinet maker with Rathcoole-based Kilmmek Furniture and had recently purchased his dream car.
“It’s very tough for Eoghan and his family, as you can imagine,” explained Mr Smith.
“It’s very hard to know what the future holds now. It’s hard to describe, I suppose.
“The young lad had just moved out of the family home, and had moved in with his girlfriend, then everything changed.”
However, Eoghan has a fighting spirit that was instilled in him throughout his involvement in sports, and he has continued to carry that with him during his treatment in Dun Laoghaire.
Mr Smith said: “He has ups and downs, but he’s been very positive throughout the whole thing.
“Eoghan’s very goal orientated, so he’s always asking what’s next. He’s always looking at the next step.
“Getting off the ventilator was a big deal for him, the hospital staff gradually eased him off it until he was off it fully and breathing independently.”
At the time of going to print, the Fight with Eoghan GoFundMe had received over €57,500 of its €75,000 goal.
“The family is delighted with the response,” added Mr Smith. “It’s hard for anybody to ask for money, so it was us [the family friends who set up Fight with Eoghan] who said you’re going to need this and that when he comes home, so we’re going to do this.”
To donate to the GoFundMe.