Wednesday 28 September 2016

Irish citizen shot in the head in South Africa

Tomás Heneghan

Published 20/07/2016 | 19:51

Bill Brogan
Bill Brogan

An Irish citizen is in a stable but “dangerous” condition in a South African hospital after he was shot in the head two weeks ago.

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Bill Brogan was on his way to work at around 6:30am on July 6th when he was approached by three men outside his home in Walkerville, Johannesburg.

One of the men then shot Mr Brogan in the face and stole a number of items from him, including his wallet and car keys.

Mr Brogan passed out for a short time but when he regained consciousness he managed to get back to the doorway to his home.

He was discovered there by his wife Mary and son Conor at approximately 8am.

However Mr Brogan’s car was inaccessible and as a result Conor had to run to a neighbour’s house and ask them to come to the Brogan’s home with a car.

Mr Brogan, a 66-year-old grandfather, was taken to Johannesburg’s Netcare Union Hospital, where  it was discovered the gunshot had shattered his cheekbone and the bullet had entered his brain.

Speaking to Independent.ie, Mr Brogan’s son-in-law Denis Kaye described his condition as “improving daily but incrementally”.

During his first operation bullet fragments and the bullet jacket were removed and the wound cleaned.

A second surgery has also seen bone fragments removed, however the bullet itself remains inside Mr Brogan’s head.

Mr Kaye said the family does not know if the bullet will be removed due to the sensitive nature of its location.

He told Independent.ie: “There’s a possibility they might remove the bullet .”

However he said Mr Brogan was “in very good care” and that the doctors are “impressed with his progress.”

He said Mr Brogan is still in the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital and despite being “in a very dangerous position” he was also “showing signs of improvement”.

Mr Kaye added: “We are hopeful that he will recover. We are cautiously optimistic.”

“He seems to recognise his family’s voices and is trying to engage.”

Mr Kaye explained however that Mr Brogan does not have medical cover and as a result they have appealed to the public for help.

The now cross-continental fundraising effort by family and friends of Mr Brogan is gathering tens of thousands for his medical treatment.

To date, through its online Go Fund Me campaign page a staggering €19,400 has been raised of the €65,000 the family estimates will be needed.

However, due to charges Mr Kaye estimated the actual money available for use so far would be approximately €18,000.

Mr Kaye also said there’s a separate fundraising effort underway in South Africa which is being led by one of Mr Brogan’s sons.

Further efforts are also underway to cover Mr Brogan’s costs, with fundraising events being planned by locals in the area where Mr Brogan lives.

The events, ‘Auction for Walkerville's Gentleman’ and the ‘Bill Brogan Fundraiser Dinner’ will take place on Saturday, July 23 at Johannesburg’s Route 82 café.

They are being organised by local women Lillian Velden, Colleen McAusland and Elsa Zurich and will involve an auction, dinner and raffle.

Mr Kaye also confirmed to Independent.ie that Mr Brogan’s attacks have not yet been apprehended but that local police had launched an investigation.

Mr Brogan’s family had originally emigrated from Ireland and he had also spent time in Ireland when he was younger.

He met his wife, Mary in Ireland and later the pair emigrated to Johannesburg and were considering a move back to Ireland in the near future.

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