Limerick assault victim flies to China for life-changing treatment

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

A LIMERICK MAN left blind and partially paralysed after he was attacked in the UK three years ago is to begin stem cell treatment in China this week in the hope that he can reclaim his life.

A LIMERICK MAN left blind and partially paralysed after he was attacked in the UK three years ago is to begin stem cell treatment in China this week in the hope that he can reclaim his life.

Brian Hogan, 35, from Russell Court, Ballykeeffe, Limerick, is hoping the treatment will help him to see and walk again, and said while stem cell treatment has attracted controversy, he believes anybody in his position would “try anything to get their life back on track.”

He will fly to China this Tuesday and receive stem cell infusions every second day over the course of three weeks, as well as a number of therapies. He will also receive injections through his spinal cord in a Beike Biotech treatment centre in Beijing, which produces stem cell products derived from umbilical cord, cord blood, and bone marrow stem cells.

“This is finally happening. We’re all very excited, but we’re also sick with nerves. We know it may or may not work but we have to try for Brian’s sake. Anyone in our position would do the same,” said his sister Nevis.

However, she said it could take up to six months before they see the full results of the treatment.

“We would ask people to keep him in their thoughts over the next few weeks. He’s very positive and always tries to keep the bright side out. He still enjoys life. He never has a woe is me attitude,” she added.

After he spoke out about his condition last September through the Limerick Leader newspaper, two wealthy female donors stepped forward and donated a total of €10,000 to help with the costs of his medical treatment, after being moved by his story.

Sisters Nevis and Grainne, brothers Shane and Jonathan, and a brother in law will also travel with Brian, to be with him at varying stages over the three-week period.

Nevis said they are grateful for “every penny” people have donated, as the treatment and other costs will amount to €40,000, and none of the costs are covered by the State due to the nature of the treatment.

On July 19, 2009, Brian suffered severe brain damage and was left blind and partially paralysed after an unprovoked attack in Nottingham in the UK, where he was working as a senior quantity surveyor for a construction company.

He was punched by a 33 year-old British national, who has since been prosecuted by the courts.

Anyone who wishes to make a donation to the costs of his treatment can do so at http://helpbrian.blogspot.co.uk.