Gerry Cummins’ whole world changed forever on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day last year.
The 49-year old father of two was involved in a serious accident while out working in a voluntary capacity in his local community in Bawnmore, Claregalway.
Gerry, a tool maker with Caragh Tool and Die in Ballybane in the city, sustained life-changing injuries in the fall on March 16, 2016.
Life as Gerry knew it, is no more: he is now permanently confined to a wheelchair.
Months of recuperation followed including a lengthy stay in the National Rehab Centre in Dun Laoghaire.
Gerry, a well-known figure in the local community, who is involved with the Claregalway Foróige Youth Club, finally returned home last July.
He was a keen cyclist, which as helped his recuperation, which is ongoing – each week since returning to Galway there have been incremental improvements. For example, Gerry’s car has been adjusted with hand controls and he is now driving again.
And while this offers some independence, everyday difficulties remain, and are likely to do so into the future.
Gerry lives in Bawnmore with his wife Caroline (nee Roche, a daughter of John Roche of the transport company in Lackagh), daughter Clodagh (14), who is in first year in Coláiste Bhaile Chláir, and Shane (11), a pupil in Bawnmore National School.
Their home needs to be re-designed, and an extension built, in order to help Gerry cope with the new realities of his everyday living needs.
The cost will be substantial, and in order to help contribute to the outlay, a committee of Gerry’s friends has come together to organise a fundraising event.
The committee, journey with Gerry, is hosting a fundraising raffle with music on Easter Sunday night, April 16, in the Claregalway Hotel. Tickets cost just €10 and are currently on sale.
Members of the committee, which has met about half a dozen times since December, include chairperson Sonny O’Brien as well as Jackie Burke, Mary Forde, Mary O’Brien, Tony Stephens, Sean Walsh and Kathleen Burke.
The event partners include Claregalway Hotel, Galway Sports Medicine Centre and Safety Direct.
People can also donate at Athenry Credit Union (BIC ATRUIE21 IBAN IE60ATRU99110010472394) with cheques made payable to Journey with Gerry.
More information and anyone wishing to assist with fundraising can contact any member of the committee, including Kathleen Burke (087) 1616479