Amputee’s dash for rehab funds in Great Limerick Run

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Richard Carey is determined to finish the six-mile race Picture: Adrian Butler

Richard Carey is determined to finish the six-mile race Picture: Adrian Butler

AN INSPIRATIONAL man who lost his leg due to a rare illness is determined to raise much-needed funds for the hospital that put him back on track during the Great Limerick Run.

Richard Carey, 48, of Old Cork Road, will take part in the six-mile event over the May Bank Holiday weekend, in a bid to raise funds for equipment at the National Rehab Hospital in Dun Laoghaire.

In June 2015, the former security guard was admitted to the emergency department at University Hospital Limerick with leg pain, and was later diagnosed with ligament damage.

However in August 2015, Richard collapsed with stroke-like symptoms, and it was then discovered that he had contracted the potentially-lethal flesh-eating illness, Necrotizing Fasciitis.

After Richard was told that one of his legs was to be amputated, he was placed in induced coma for a number of days, during which his family had been advised to say their goodbyes.

But then, even without the help of staff, Richard came out the coma himself, and was on the mend between St John’s Hospital and UHL for almost a year.

After the initial treatment, the survivor was accepted at the hospital in Dun Laoghaire to receive a prosthetic and commence rehabilitation.

A self-confessed quiet man, Richard said that the rehabilitation boosted his social skills that he “never had before”, and it wasn’t long after this when he was speaking to a packed room of Trinity College medical students. Now, the city native speaks to UL Graduate Entry Medical School students twice a year.

Following treatment, Richard now “wants to give something back” and intends to raise money for the hospital, which is currently building a new facility.

Relishing the opportunity, Richard is already in training in order to finish the six miles.

So far, 7,650 people – including 1,830 children – have signed up for the major annual event, which expects to exceed €1m in charity fundraising.