MORE than €73,000 has been raised within the last 72 hours to help a 31-year-old Corkman who suffered a brain injury in California.
Liam O’Connell was caught up in a freak accident involving an electric scooter while holidaying in Los Angeles with friends.
Liam is originally from Ballincollig but has been working as a Civil Engineer for the past eight years in Vancouver, Canada.
He was rushed to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Centre on October 5, in a critical condition, where he was diagnosed with a fractured skull, subdural bleeding and traumatic swelling of the brain.
Doctors performed an emergency decompressive craniectomy procedure where a section of his skull was removed to relieve pressure on the brain.
The treatment forced Liam into a medically induced coma. Consequential battles with pneumonia and other direct complications have prevented the medical team from reducing the levels of sedation, and he is now expected to be induced for an extended period in the Intensive Care Unit in LA.
He is currently being treated in the ICU unit in the USA and his rehabilitation will likely be in Canada. His parents Kathleen and Dave, his older sister Catriona and his younger twin brothers Eoin and Gearoid, will face enormous costs during his road to recovery. More than 870 people have donated to Liam’s fundraising campaign.
At this point, doctors still do not know the extent of the brain injury or long-term implications.
Liam’s sister Catriona and his father Dave flew to LA immediately after the incident and were there for the past two weeks. Last weekend, Catriona flew home to return to work and Liam’s uncle Jimmy flew out to be with Liam and Dave.
One of Liam’s best friends, Cian O’Callaghan, set up a Gofundme page to raise funds for medical costs and rehabilitation.
Cian said friends and family are absolutely overwhelmed by the response they have received since setting up the fundraiser two days ago.
“We are taken back by the support we have received. We were hoping to raise €25,000 and within three hours of setting up the page, we had hit our target so we increased it again and then again once we hit €50,000.
“We can’t thank people enough for giving to this cause. It all makes a difference, even the smallest donation helps.”
Cian said Liam comes from a very close-knit family and has a strong network of friends who are all worried and concerned about him at the moment. Cian also encouraged people to leave comments on the page so Liam has messages of support when he wakes up.
“Leave something for Liam to read, you can imagine he will need it when he wakes up.”
To donate to Liam’s Gofundme page, click here: https://www.gofundme.com/fight-of-his-life-liam-doug