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Saturday 29 April 2017

Building company offers house extension to talented skateboarder left paralysed after freak accident

Scott Keegan with his girlfriend Carol and seven-month-old Abbi
Scott Keegan with his girlfriend Carol and seven-month-old Abbi

Ian Begley

A building contractor company from Dublin are helping an “exceptionally talented” skateboarder who broke his neck by building an extension to his home – free of charge.

In July, Scott Keegan from Lucan was in a serious accident while diving at Portran beach, which left him with a broken neck and without the use of his legs.

Scott Keegan from Lucan was a talented skateboarder
Scott Keegan from Lucan was a talented skateboarder

The 23-year-old father of one was very well-known and respected in the skateboarding community and came out on top in many competitions around the country. 

His accident came as a great shock to his family and many friends who immediately set up a fundraising campaign to assist towards his rehabilitation.

He is currently in hospital while he waits for an available bed in the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dun Laoighaire.

One of the major challenges that Scott’s parents had in the aftermath of the accident was adapting their home to suit their son’s needs.

In a display of extraordinary generosity, building contractors MJ Duncan & Sons Limited decided to help the family out by building an extension to the side of Scott’s home free of charge.

Before his accident, the 23-year-old worked as an apprentice carpenter for the company and worked alongside his best friend Gavin, son of Managing Director Michael Duncan.

The extension, which is currently under construction, will have a bedroom, utility room, dining room, bathroom and everything Scott could need when he returns from hospital.

Speaking to Independent.ie Michael Duncan said: “We have known Scott a very long time because he is such close friends with my son Gavin. 

Inset: Scott Keegan. Photo: Scott's parents Alan Keegan and Christine Keegan with contractors Rachel Duncan, Michael Duncan.
Inset: Scott Keegan. Photo: Scott's parents Alan Keegan and Christine Keegan with contractors Rachel Duncan, Michael Duncan.

“After his Leaving Cert he came to work for us as an apprentice carpenter and he brought so much joy and laughter wherever he went and was greatly loved by all of our staff and contractors. 

 “His accident came as such a massive shock to us that we felt that we needed to do something for his family in this very tough time. Everyone involved in our company is giving us a big hand with the extension. Our suppliers, subcontractors and staff are voluntarily working very hard to help out – it really is amazing.

“We wish Scott the very best in his recovery and I hope this extension will show how much he means to us.”

Scott’s mum Christine said that “words cannot describe” how humbled and grateful she is for what MJ Duncan & Sons are doing.

Scott Keegan
Scott Keegan

“It’s just so incredible what they’re doing. I get emotional just thinking of how generous everyone has been helping us,” she said.

“Scott is blown away so much by this – it’s the only thing that’s kept him going.”

“On top of this, Rachel Duncan from the company took it upon herself to organise a fundraising night in October for Scott. All of their staff and suppliers showed up, including all of Scotts friend.

There was a huge turnout on the night and we raised over €50,000, which was just mind blowing.

"The money is such a comfort to us and will be put aside for his rehabilitation and any equipment that he needs."

Christine described the tragic accident that changed her son’s life forever.

“It happened on July 17 this year. The weather was fabulous so he, his girlfriend and his friend decided to go to Portrane beach with his three month old daughter Abbey.

“Scott was just playing in and out of the water and at one stage when he dived in he landed on his neck – we still don’t know exactly what happened…

“He has a C6 spinal injury and is paralysed from the chest down. He doesn’t have a lot of function in his fingers but he can move his hands. It was a very bad injury, but it still could have been a lot worse."

MJ Duncan & Sons are still accepting donations to help Scott and his family. Email Rachel@mjds.ie for more information.

Scott’s friends have also set up a GoFundMe page and have raised more than €9,000 for him. See https://www.gofundme.com/2j47rik.

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