A COBH resident, who had aspirations to become a professional footballer before his leg had to be amputated is now looking for help to purchase a bionic leg which would enable him to live a more independent life.
Issouf L'ivoiriano Kone, 22, originally from the Ivory Coast, moved to Ireland in 2013 when he was 15 and began playing football for Springfield Ramblers.
"I've always been athletic and if I wasn’t playing soccer I was out cycling in Cobh," he said.
Issouf was also actively involved in coaching younger kids with the intention to go on and do his coaching badges.
When his health began to deteriorate in 2015, Issouf tried to persevere with his sporting activities, but things eventually came to a head.
He was experiencing sharp pains in his left leg and had to undergo two surgeries to clear a blockage in the main artery.
"After my rehabilitation, I was trying to catch up on school work.
"It was a lot of pressure as I was in my Leaving Cert year at the time.
"Despite the time I missed, I went on to go to college to fulfill my interest in IT," Issouf explained.
Unfortunately, a few years later, in February 2019, Issouf’s health issues reoccurred and the outcome this time was a life-changing one.
"They did a CT scan and I was informed that the blood clot had gotten severe and my life was at risk.
"I was told that by taking the surgery there was a risk involved of losing my leg.
"Ultimately the surgeons had no other option but to amputate my leg to save my life," Issouf said.
At the age of 21, Issouf’s leg had to be amputated from above the knee.
"It was so unexpected and something which was very difficult to cope with.
"After it happened I was experiencing phantom limb syndrome," he told.
Issouf was allocated a poor quality prosthetic after the surgery, which is causing him significant discomfort.
Determined to live an independent and full life, however, Issouf was encouraged to set up a GoFundMe page and is now trying to fundraise for a bionic leg - at a cost of €72,000.
"Nothing will stop me.
"I want to be an example to young amputees," he said.
His GoFundMe page is here.