New hopes for recovery of GAA player in coma
Signs of regaining consciousness after on-field clash
A GAA player who has been in a coma for four days was yesterday showing the first signs that he may regain consciousness.
Mark McGovern (22), from the Belcoo O'Rahillys club in Fermanagh, has been fighting for his life since he suffered a serious head injury on Saturday while making his debut for the GAA club in San Francisco.
He clashed with a Celts Club opposition player on the field and took a serious blow to his head.
He was rushed to San Francisco General Hospital and put into an induced coma.
However, yesterday the budding GAA star showed signs he may be coming out of it.
Deirdre Donnelly from the Fermanagh County Board said Mr McGovern's condition had "improved slightly" since Saturday and that he was now "critical but stable".
She said Mr McGovern had begun stirring and at one stage moved his hand.
"He is still in the induced coma but has shown signs and responses and movement. These things are very positive that he is going to pull through."
She also said it appeared that he was aware of people being about.
Mr McGovern's family and friends have rushed to be by his bedside to support him.
His mother Josie, father Danny and sisters Connie, Helen and Grace along with his uncle Bernard and girlfriend Jessica made the long trip to be with him.
Two Belcoo teammates, Emmet Scollan and Ciaran Flaherty, who travelled to San Francisco with Mr McGovern, are also keeping vigil.
Last night Mr Scollan said the situation was "worse than a bad nightmare" and that he was praying for his friend.
He added that he was grateful for the many messages posted online and the help and support he had received from home.
He said that Mr McGovern's condition was critical but stable and the doctors at the hospital had advised that they were pleased and hopeful he would recover.
Meanwhile, Dominic Kerrigan, Belcoo O'Rahillys' secretary, praised the young footballer.
"Mark is an exceptionally talented footballer and one of our most decorated young players who during the past few years has picked up a host of underage winners' medals. The entire community is very saddened and concerned."
Ulster Club San Francisco issued a statement that read: "We are hoping and praying that Mark will come out of the coma as soon as possible and make a full recovery. Mark is being greatly supported by fellow players and his closest friends. Please pray for Mark at this time."
Their Facebook page has been inundated with messages of support.