Monday 21 August 2017

'Your support was monumental': Seriously ill Irish man at centre of massive fundraiser has returned to Ireland

Niall Hurley is recovering from a brain tumour
Niall Hurley is recovering from a brain tumour

Kathy Armstrong

An Irish man who the public raised over $26,000 (€17,000) for when he became seriously ill with a brain tumour in Canada has returned home.

Niall Hurley's overwhelmed family has thanked everyone for their generosity, saying: "Your support was monumental."

Niall (28) had seemed healthy before he suddenly collapsed in Calgary in February, days before he was due to travel back to his home in Tralee, Co Kerry after two years in Canada.

He was diagnosed with a brain tumour and had to undergo a ten-hour operation, thankfully he was well enough to finally come home last month.

His brother Ian told Independent.ie: "The last few months were very busy for myself, Niall and our parents, Barbara and Kevin.

"Since Niall returned back to hospital in Ireland on April 2, one of our parents have been with him 24 hrs a day.

"The care Niall received in Canada was incredible. It was continued in Kerry University Hospital, from when he arrived until now.

"Niall will require therapy for balance, sight and speech. He is on a waiting list for the National Rehabilitation Center."

Read More: 'All he wants to do is return to the Kingdom' - Appeal to help Irish man diagnosed with brain tumour in Canada

When Deirdre Halferty Honorary Consulate of Ireland in Calgary bumped into Niall's dad and heard about his condition she organised a fundraising appeal with The Irish Cultural Society.

The money raised was used to support Niall and his family throughout his treatment over there and to help fund a medical flight back to Ireland.

It quickly raised $26,000 (€17,000) and the Irish community in Calgary rallied around the family, Ian stressed how much it meant to them all.

He said: "The support Niall received from the Irish community was amazing.

"Support came from fundraising, phone calls, visits, cards and prayers - it came from neighbours, friends, family, people we don't even know and anonymous people from all over.

"We are always a great nation for support for sports people at home and abroad and I see that the support is no different when people get ill away from home.

"In fact it was amazing."

He added: "We have to thank the Irish community in Calgary for their support. Thank you to Deirdre Halferty and (her colleague) Ann Smithers. "They are true ambassadors for Ireland. Their community spirit makes us proud to be Irish.

"We were thinking, how are we going to thank all these people? So now we would like to say thank you all. Your support was monumental."

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