Fall victim responds to voices of friends
THE Irishman who was left with catastrophic head injuries after falling from the fourth storey of an apartment in Bangkok is now responding to the voices of his friends.
Robbie Robinson is showing signs of recognition through a rapid rise in his heart rate when he hears the familiar sound of his friends' voices over a telephone that is placed at his ear.
The breakthrough has come as a huge relief to his family, whose desperate search for a "miracle" has touched the hearts of the nation.
The popular young Wicklow man is currently in the intensive care unit in Dublin's Beaumont Hospital, where he remains in critical condition.
But this weekend the news of his small step on the road to recovery was met with delight among family and friends who are keeping a constant vigil by his bedside.
Leslie McGill – a friend of Robbie's mother Martina – organised a fund-raiser for the young man last Thursday night at The Grand Hotel in Wicklow town. She revealed his family are now more hopeful Robbie can recover from his horrific injuries.
"Robbie moved his feet a little bit and his head, which were great signs, and now, when he hears his friends' voices over the phone, his heart rate goes up on the monitor. It's really positive and encouraging," Ms McGill told the Sunday Independent.
Speaking about the outpouring of support, she said: "It has been amazing. We held a fundraiser on Thursday night and so many people gave their time and services free to help out.
"The hotel gave us the free use of the room. Bands and a DJ played for nothing, and we received so many prizes for the raffle and generous donations, too.
"One shop gave us a mountain bike worth over €400. The support has been incredible. We have raised around €10,000 now and everything helps," Ms McGill said.
Accompanied by a specialist medical team, the 32-year-old was transported from his hospital bed onto an aircraft in what was a high-risk operation.
The Wicklow man, who has been in a coma for almost 30 days, was monitored by doctors in a special section of the plane.
The family took the hugely difficult decision to discharge him from a hospital in Bangkok so that he can receive medical treatment in Ireland.
An ambulance was waiting on the runway of Dublin Airport when Robbie arrived safely, accompanied by his heartbroken mother Martina and sister Kim.
His stepfather Pat has been in Ireland desperately trying to generate the funds necessary to cover the €100,000 healthcare and travel costs.
In an extraordinary gesture, an anonymous donor donated €5,000 to the Robbie Robinson Fund after hearing an emotional radio interview given by his mother to Miriam O'Callaghan.
Robbie travelled to Bangkok last month to visit friends.
On June 22, he was returning to his apartment following a night out when he suddenly realised that he left his key inside.
Robbie attempted to climb up a fire escape to his bedroom.
But he lost his footing and fell dozens of metres to the ground.
Anyone who would like to make a donation to the Robbie Robinson fund can visit facebook.com/RobbieRobinsonFund for details on how to contribute.