Limerickman paralysed after a fall says he will always stand tall thanks to his supporters

Donal O’Regan

Reporter:

Donal O’Regan

A YOUNG County Limerick man who was left paralysed after a fall from a tree a year ago has thanked those who helped raise over €60,000 for him.

A YOUNG County Limerick man who was left paralysed after a fall from a tree a year ago has thanked those who helped raise over €60,000 for him.

Johnny Ryan, Bruff says he has gone through a “tremendous journey of disability, inability, disbelief and absolute unpredictability”.

On July 25, 2011, the 24 year-old’s life changed forever.

“I was just cutting branches off a tree in the garden. I was making my way down the tree after cutting one of the branches.

“It’s not for sure but either I fell from the tree or the branch took me that I was cutting away from the tree.

“I ended up having a severe injury in my neck and that left me paralysed from the chest down with limited ability in my arms.

“There’s no one to blame, unfortunately it’s just one of those things that happened,” said the father of three children; Sean, Lilly and Lucy.

The horrific accident took so much away from Johnny but he says it gave him the ability to see what he had before and still has.

“It shouldn’t be a negative that all this happened – unfortunately it has, but great positivity has come out of it as well.

“You can see by the charity and support that has been given to me,” said Johnny, who was a health care assistant in the Regional.

Staff from the hospital and locals in Bruff formed the Johnny Ryan Benefit Fund and organised a festival in Bruff.

Committee member, Kathleen Delaney, said the festival got a great response and fundraising efforts took off.

“The whole community and staff in the Regional got behind it and ran so many events from there,” said Ms Delaney. The reason for the groundswell of support was because if somebody else was in Johnny’s position, he would have been the first to help.

“He would definitely get involved. He has a good heart and good spirit,” said Kathleen.

With the money raised a customised van was bought; his home has been made more wheelchair friendly and there is money left over for equipment to make his life easier.

A full version of this story was published in the Limerick Leader, print edition, dated August 4, 2012