J1 student in a coma after road accident
A student on a J1 visa is in a coma in the Cape Cod area following a collision with a van while he was cycling.
Dubliner Padraig Schaler, a 23-year-old student at Trinity College, was cycling his bike in the American town of Brewster, Massachusetts, when he was hit by a van driven by a construction worker. The incident happened at 10am on July 1.
Mr Schaler was living in the Cape Cod area for the summer with friends, availing of the J1 programme that enables students to work and live in the United States for three months.
According to police, Mr Schaler was not wearing a helmet and his injuries were said to be life-threatening.
Mr Schaler is very involved with the Irish language society in Trinity College, Cumann na Gaelach, and held the position of auditor for the society for the academic year of 2011 to 2012.
Trinity College Dublin last week organised a special counselling session for the students affected, and a Mass was held in Trinity College Chapel last Thursday to pray for his recovery.
Another awareness night was organised by his friends who compiled photo albums of Mr Schaler, and recorded video messages for him.
A spokesperson for Trinity College Student's Union said: With Padraig in a critical condition we hope for a full recovery.