Injured horse trainer gets bed after threatening hunger strike
A TRAINER who suffered spinal injuries when he fell from his horse three weeks ago has finally received a bed at the National Spinal Injuries Unit after threatening to go on hunger strike.
Larry Murphy (62), from Monachee, Co Wexford, who has worked as a trainer and farrier all his life, was severely injured after his horse stumbled while galloping on Duncannon beach on June 11.
He was thrown and received crush injuries when the horse fell on him, breaking 13 of his bones, including five in his spine.
His son, Conor, who was with him at the time, rang 999 and Mr Murphy was taken to Waterford Regional Hospital where he remained for 21 days until he finally received a bed yesterday at the National Spinal Injuries Unit at the Mater Hospital.
Jockey JT McNamara is currently receiving treatment there and there are only ten beds to cater for patients throughout the country.
Staff at Waterford told Mr Murphy that it normally takes three days to be transferred.
In a statement, the Mater Hospital said patients referred to the National Spinal Injuries Unit for admission were clinically prioritised and were admitted thereafter "subject to bed availability".
Speaking from his hospital bed, an emotional Mr Murphy told the Irish Independent that he was "desperately worried" that his bones are already knitting badly as he had not been put in a cast and claimed he had been "kept in the dark" about his treatment.
He grew increasingly frantic after numbness developed in his left leg, claiming he had been left lying "on the flat of his back" with no real treatment.
His friend Brian McManus said that had it been the horse that received the injuries, the ISPCA "would have somebody in court" over the lack of treatment it had received, he claimed.
"You'd never let an animal lie there the way Larry has had to," he said.