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Thursday 24 August 2017

Over €10,000 raised for Rory Whelan fund

Huge support for seriously ill, talented 13-year-old hurler

Rory Whelan
Rory Whelan

David Looby

More than €10,000 has been raised to support the family of talented Wexford hurler Rory Whelan, who is seriously ill in hospital.

People across south west Wexford and from further afield have donated to a GoFundMe page called Rory's Road to Recovery.

Rory, 13, from Tintern, Saltmills, was in perfect health up until early April, when he was taken to CareDoc on the Easter bank holiday weekend where he was diagnosed a chest infection.

His aunt Ann Marie Bates said: 'The family had no warning signs. He was feeling a little unwell and his parents brought him to CareDoc where he was diagnosed with a chest infection and given antibiotics. No one thought anymore of it, but on the Monday morning he took a turn.'

Rory couldn't move his arms or legs and was brought to Wexford General Hospital, from where he was transferred to Temple Street Hospital, where he was diagnosed three weeks ago with Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Guillain-Barré Syndrome is a condition where the immune system attacks the body's nervous system and muscles. Ann Marie said: 'Rory is being brought in and out of sedation. He has been in hospital for four weeks. We had never heard of the illness, which leaves sufferers paralysed. He has been sedated for four weeks so no one knows how it has affected his muscles.'

She said thankfully the prognosis is good.

'As far as we know he will come out of it. He will need very long rehabilitation.'

A Sixth Class pupil in Poulfur National School, Rory 'lives and breathes' sport and has a huge passion for hurling.

Ann Marie said Rory is under heavy sedation at the moment as he receives treatment for the illness.

Rory is a son of Helen Curran and Paul Whelan, a well respected couple in the Fethard-on-Sea area.

Ann Marie decided to set up a Go Fund Me campaign to help Rory and his parents on what is likely to be a long road of rehabilitation.

She said the response from local people has been overwhelming.

'Neither of Rory's parents are working at the moment and Rory will need a lot of care. People had asked me is there a fund campaign or some way they could help and that's when I decided to set it up. The finances can spiral out of control in these situations as Rory will need a lot of care. I'd like to thank everyone who has donated.'

She said several fundraising events have been taking place and are organised for the coming weeks, including at Poulfur NS, in Londis supermarket in Fethard-on-Sea, Hook Lighthouse and by St Mogue's GAA Club.

Describing Rory as being a bubbly, big strong chap who is also still very much a child at heart, she said: 'He is very smiley and chatty and could out with anything. He would do anything anyone could ask of him and is always willing to lend a hand.'

Describing the support the family have received to date as being unbelievable (over €8,000 has been raised through the GoFundMe page with over €2,000 coming in from donations, fundraising events and collections), Ann Marie said his parents are very grateful to everyone for their contributions, well wishes and prayers.

Anyone wishing to donate to the fund can do so through the webpage: www.gofundme/Rory's Road To Recovery.

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