Disabled man pleads with thieves for safe return of €13,000 quad bike
Ray O'Sullivan with a picture showing him on his quad bike. Eamonn Keogh
A DISABLED man whose quad bike was stolen from outside his home said losing the bike was like "losing his legs".
Ray O'Sullivan has pleaded with thieves to return the quad, which was his only means of travelling independently and was also an essential part of his rehabilitation in his efforts to walk again.
Mr O'Sullivan, who celebrates his 33rd birthday next Monday, suffered a brain injury in a car crash when he was 21 years old.
Confined to a wheelchair since then, the Co Kerry native is determined that he will walk again.
His €13,000 quad bike was essential in his progress as operating it has helped rebuild the muscles in his lower back, which more conventional physiotherapy methods have failed to do.
The quad was stolen from outside his home at Riverside, Killarney, last Sunday night.
Mr O'Sullivan, whose speech was seriously impaired in the accident, spoke to the Irish Independent through his mother, Mary.
"He said it's like losing his legs," Mrs O'Sullivan said. "He was totally dependent on that bike for transport."
Mr O'Sullivan fractured a bone in the back of his skull in the crash, which caused a haemorrhage in his brain and affected his speech, balance and swallowing.
He was alone in the car at the time of the incident and had reached down to get something when he lost control of the vehicle and it crashed into a wall.
The family believes the quad bike was targeted by the thieves, who may have had to remove the mirrors to fit it on to the back of a trailer.