THE sister of a young boy who was left paralysed following an accident on a family holiday in France has issued an appeal to the public to post him cards as he prepares to celebrate his 12th birthday next month.
Kevin O’Callaghan, from Dromahane near Mallow in County Cork, is currently in Temple Street Hospital in Dublin. He was flown onsite from Paris weeks after the accident which occurred in February of this year.
His sister Rachel O’Callaghan told the Cork Today Show, on C103FM, that the family spent two happy days sightseeing in Paris. The night before they were due to visit Disneyland Paris Kevin sustained the life changing injury in a fall while playing in a play area in the French capital.
Rachel said that Kevin, who hails from a family of of eight, was disoriented and unable to move.
“Whatever way he fell, he was instantly paralysed. He said everything was fuzzy and he couldn’t get up.”
The youngster was transferred to hospital where scans revealed the gravity of his injuries. He was transferred to the Necker Enfants Malades Hospital where he underwent surgery for compression of his spine within a day of the accident occurring. Kevin was treated onsite for a few weeks prior to being flown by Air Ambulance to Ireland.
Rachel said that her brother is making some progress.
“After the freak accident Kevin had to have emergency surgery. He spent a few weeks in Paris before being transferred to Temple Street Dublin where he remains.
“He has gotten stronger. He has some movement particularly in his hands but his condition at the moment is unknown.
“We got some bad news last week because he has to have another operation. This week will determine what operation it will be.
“The last operation was an emergency so there was little time to think but now he knows what is ahead.
“He is such a positive boy and is trying so hard but the end result is very much unknown. Once it takes place hopefully he will make progress. We have no timeline but he will be in Temple Street for the foreseeable future.”
She says that Kevin is doing his best to stay positive.
“At the age of 11 he is a very sporty young lad so is missing his cycling and other sports. He loves sport. He obviously hoped he would be out of hospital fast but he is positive and trying really really hard to stay positive.
“We were able to spend more time with him over Easter.”
Kevin is set to turn twelve on May 1. Rachel says they are organising a birthday card appeal to help lift his spirits.
“To put a smile on his face please send him cards just for his birthday. We are asking people to do this.”
He was supposed to go to Ed Sheeran in Cork. He is a big fan and it is so disappointing for him to miss it.”
Cards can be sent to Kevin O’Callaghan care of Ballysimon, Dromahane, Mallow in Co Cork.
A Go Fund me page has also been set up to help pay for his care. Donations can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-kevin-and-family-with-his-rehab