Fundraising campaign to help Cork father and grandfather following mid-air illness

Fundraising campaign to help Cork father and grandfather following mid-air illness
Peter O'Neill with his wife Cathie.

A fundraising campaign has been set up for a Cork man after he suffered a stroke on a plane travelling to Miami to celebrate his 80th birthday and his 50th wedding anniversary.

Peter O’Neill, a married father of four with 13 grandchildren became ill a plane travelling to the US with his wife Cathie.

Speaking to The Echo, Peter’s daughter Karen said her dad, who had a hemorrhagic stroke on May 3, was now medically stable although he has no movement on his left side and is scheduled to fly home today, however, the incident has incurred steep costs for the family as his insurance company have declined his claim.

Karen, along with her brothers Peter and Tommy and sister Debbie has been taking turns travelling to Miami to support their parents.

Peter O'Neill pictured in hospital in Miami.
Peter O'Neill pictured in hospital in Miami.

“My mother has had a tough few weeks, she came down with bronchitis and has been on antibiotics.” 

The plan for Peter is to fly home first class from Miami to Dublin arriving home tomorrow and then get him into rehabilitation somewhere in Cork close to where he and his extended family live in Ballincollig.

“We need to get him home as soon as possible so that he can start his rehabilitation,” Karen said.

"We have all been talking to him on Facetime over the past few weeks. At the start, he was very positive and at the moment he is very tired and not eating much.”

In order to reduce the risk of the former Cork Airport Police and Fire officer having a second stroke on the flight home, the neurologist has temporarily taken him off other necessary medication.

The only way to reduce the risks that he now faces is to get him back to Ireland and back on this necessary medication.

Karen said: “Dad will need medical assistance throughout the flight home, which means we have to arrange for a medical practitioner to fly to Miami and escort him home on the plane with all necessary medical equipment.” The dedicated daughter said that they have been inundated with support, well wishes and donations from the community in Ballincollig and beyond.

“It is our priority to get Dad home safely and we appreciate any support that can be offered as we face this challenging situation,” Karen said.

“We want to thank everyone for their kindness, support and best wishes. We have been overwhelmed and humbled by the kindness we have been shown. It makes us feel very lucky as a family.” 

So far almost €17,000 has been raised on Gofundme. To donate visit

More in this section

Sponsored Content


Catch up on the latest episode of Annie May and the Hit Brigade written and read by  Mahito Indi Henderson.

Add to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more