JACK O’Driscoll, the Cork teenager paralysed in an accident during Storm Emma, is showing tremendous courage to maintain positivity as he continues his recovery in hospital.
Jack has been in the spinal unit of the Mater hospital since he suffered life-changing injuries jumping in the snow and his cousin said he is improving in large part due to his own determination.
“A lot of it is driven by himself, he is setting his own goals,” Brian Punch told the Evening Echo.
“He has visitors coming up next weekend and his aim is to be able to sit in the cafe and have a cup of tea with them.
“Short-term goals like that are what is keeping him going.”
Jack has shown steady improvement in the last week, increasing hope that he may regain some use of his arms.
“There is more confirmation that he might be able to regain some movement,” Brian said.
“There is movement in the upper arms where there would not have been already.
“Ten days ago he was still in ICU and wasn’t breathing himself but he is definitely getting stronger. They are weaning him off the ventilator now, he did two hours twice today where he was just breathing himself.
“The hope is once he starts eating, he will regain some strength and really start looking toward Dún Laoghaire (National Rehabilitation Hospital).”
Brian said the family are in awe of Jack’s determination.
“He has days where it is difficult but overall he has been very positive. We have never had experience of anything like this but no one could handle it as well as he is.
“He is in the best frame of mind that anyone could be.”
He also paid tribute to the support they have received both locally in Cork and further afield. A fundraising appeal has raised almost €120,000 to help his recovery.
“People are calling to door here as well,” Brian said.
“The support has been unbelievable, we are blown away with it all.”