A fundraising campaign set up last week to aid the recovery of a young Irish man who was seriously injured in Guatemala has achieved more than half of its €50,000 goal.
Eoin Sheehy (26), originally from Dunshaughlin, Co Meath, is still in a coma after suffering severe injuries from a 25-foot fall in the town of San Pedro La Laguna on Friday, March 18.
He was taken to the intensive care unit at Herrera Llerandi hospital in Guatemala City, where he had two major brain surgeries in the space of a weekend.
Eoin’s older brothers Brian and Paul Sheehy have flown out to Guatemala to be with him.
“Eoin fell on his way home from the town he was staying in to his hostel," Brian told independent.ie.
"He fell approximately 25 feet, and has suffered extensive head injuries. Since last Monday he has been in a stable but critical condition. He is still in a coma.”
Last weekend, Brian explained, his parents received a phone call from Eoin’s travelling companion, who noticed that his friend hadn’t returned to their hostel.
Brian lives in Munich, Germany, and his brother Paul is a teacher in Meath, and on hearing the news, they decided to drop everything and head straight to the airport to be by his side.
Eoin is the youngest in the family, and had been hoping to celebrate his 26th birthday the day after the accident.
“It’s been a very hard situation, trying to get correct information through a language barrier and get that information home to our parents,” Brian said.
“Eoin had taken leave from work to travel Central and South America. He left Ireland in mid-January on the trip of a lifetime - the type of trip so many other young Irish people make.
“We are very shaken by the whole situation but the support of our neighbours and friends for our parents has been amazing,” he added.
Two of Eoin’s friends have launched a fundraising page to help him and his family with the costs of his treatment and rehabilitation.
On the page, organisers Kate Espey and Ciara Walsh wrote: “As we all know, our dear friend Eoin had an accident recently and is currently in intensive care in the Herrera Llerandi hospital in Guatemala City.
“Eoin has undergone two major brain surgeries in recent days and while he is currently in a stable but critical condition, there is no doubt that he has a long road to recovery ahead.”
The organisers explained that Eoin has emergency travel medical insurance cover, but that they are seeking contributions to cover additional costs so that he can receive the best possible care available throughout his recovery.
His friends Kate and Ciara also noted that they chose the title for the fundraiser – 'Eoin Sheehy’s HEADge Fund' – because “we thought a dark pun was most appropriate. We all know how much he would appreciate it.”
Brian named the two women who started the fundraising campaign and the other friends Eoin had been travelling with as a great support to him and his brother Paul, and commends the staff at Herrera Llerandi hospital.
“The hospital is regarded as the best in Guatemala and he has received great care here. We can visit him when we want.”
“We are very grateful for all the support the fund has received. Eoin has a very long road to recovery. All we can do is give him as much support, love and care as possible.”
To contribute to Eoin’s fund, visit the YouCaring page here.