News Australasia

Sunday 25 September 2016

Irish man woke up 'in flames' while camping abroad

Catherine Devine

Published 05/08/2016 | 02:30

Burns: Ciarán Carolan. Photo: Ralph Riegel
Burns: Ciarán Carolan. Photo: Ralph Riegel

An Irishman woke up "engulfed in flames" after spending a night camping in Australia.

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Ciarán Carolan (28) from Michelstown in Cork was working at a rodeo in North West Queensland on June 30 when he woke in the middle of the night to find his sleeping bag on fire.

"I woke up and I was engulfed in flames. There was a spark from the camp fire and it caught my sleeping bag," Ciarán told the Irish Independent last night.

The ambulance on site at the rodeo took Ciarán to the nearest town which was 200km away.

Upon arrival, he was airlifted by the Royal Flying Doctor Service to Brisbane where he is now starting recovery.

"I have one skin graft on my back and burns on my buttocks, legs and feet. My burns are so bad that I needed surgery and might need another one on my foot," he said.

With his family on the other side of the world, his friends have set up a GoFundMe page to fly them over to be with him and cover his medical costs.

"I have no idea how much my hospital costs will be but my physio is $AUS90 an hour," he said.

"I won't be able to return to work for eight months to a year. I'm not even dreaming about going back to work until next March."

Ciarán thanked everyone who has helped and supported him. Efforts to fund his treatment are now underway.

Donations can be made to Ciaran's cause through the website www.gofundme.com/irishrecovery.

Meanwhile, a Wicklow man who was a detention centre in Australia is due to arrive home today.

Bernard Lee (26), originally from Greystones, was held at Yongah Hill Detention Centre near Perth after he failed to secure residency and his working visa was cancelled.

He was detained by armed police and immigration officials on July 25. He had been living in Australia for seven years.

Mr Lee, a bodybuilder and ­tiler, has given a number of media interviews in recent days during which he expressed relief about his release.

"All the security guards have said that they've never seen someone get home from here after only 11 days," he said during one interview this week.

Irish Independent

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