Monday 25 September 2017

UFC star Eddie Alvarez shows pure class as he visits young Irish GAA player in hospital following accident

Conor McGregor, right, in action against Eddie Alvarez during their lightweight title bout at UFC 205 in Madison Square Garden
Conor McGregor, right, in action against Eddie Alvarez during their lightweight title bout at UFC 205 in Madison Square Garden

UFC star Eddie Alvarez, who was defeated by Conor McGregor in a world lightweight bout last November, has paid a visit to see a young Irish GAA player in hospital as he makes a miracle recovery after being hit by a car.

Tyrone man Aaron Elliott suffered serious brain injuries and was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery. The 22-year-old was found unresponsive and without a pulse after being struck by car in Jenkintown, Philadelphia, last Saturday night.

Aaron suffered a blood clot, leak in the brain and a fractured skull and was placed under high sedation.

Hopes were fading after CT scans revealed internal bleeding was worsening, leaving him in an extremely critical condition.

Medical staff battled to save his life and within the last few days the young Gaelic footballer has made huge progress.

A fundraising page has been set up to help pay for the rising medical costs and to help Aaron's rehabilitation when he's discharged from hospital with $50,000 of the $100,000 target already raised at the time of writing.

Alvarez, who has Irish roots and endeared himself to many with his dignified and humble attitude following his loss to McGregor, took an interest in Aaron's story on Twitter and promised to go visit the young man.

And he proved true to his word as made his way to the hospital to see Aaron.

"Finally got a chance to go see Aaron Elliot , this kids a walking miracle and testimony to pure Will and toughness #ufc #thnq #Aaronsabeast," wrote Alvarez on Twitter.

Aaron faces a long road to recovery.

His sister Laura and her boyfriend Ronan Fay flew out to be by his side.

"We were expecting the worst and thought he was dead," Ronan told the Belfast Telegraph.

Read More: 'Prayers and lighted candles are needed' - GAA star critically injured after being hit by car in the US

"He was actually dead at the scene and was given CPR by a local policeman after he was found unresponsive without a pulse.

"He started to breathe but was still unconscious.

He was taken to Abington Memorial Hospital where he was rushed in for emergency surgery because he suffered a severe compound fracture,leaving his elbow shattered.

Aaron was then taken to the neuro critical care unit and because of his serious head injuries, he was placed under high sedation.

Aaron, who plays football for Kevin Barry's GFC in Philadelphia where he has been living since March, has undergone a number of surgeries including the insertion of a chest tube to help alleviate stress on his right lung, as the left lung had collapsed.

Despite concerns for his condition, he has been making remarkable progress.

Speaking from his hospital bedside, Ronan added: "He remains in ICU but doctors are hoping that in the next 24 hours if he continues to improve they can move him out.

"His breathing has improved and he's made good recovery from Sunday, but he has an extremely long road ahead of him.

"He's blessed that he's still here as he was gone at one stage.

"He is being well looked after by members from the Kevin Barry GAA club. They have been amazing.

"Club member Nicola McAlenen has kept a bedside vigil since his accident.

"But the medical bills will be sky-high."

Aaron is expected to remain in hospital for six weeks and following his release he will require intense rehabilitation without health insurance.

Donations can be made to the Aaron Elliot Benefit Fund on the Go Fund Me website.

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