Saturday 18 November 2017

Man (24) left brain damaged in unprovoked assault returns home after five years in hospital

Shane Grogan
Shane Grogan

Claire Fox

A young man who was left with brain injuries after an unprovoked attack in Co Galway in 2012 has finally returned home.

Shane Grogan (24) was the victim of an unprovoked brick attack during Galway Race week in August 2012.

After spending five years in hospital, Shane's family received planning permission to build a new house on the site of an old dwelling on the outskirts of Tuam, Co Galway.

The house will be adapted for Shane to make it accessible for him to live in and will hopefully include an exercise room and a room for a nurse to stay over night in.

Shane’s father, Joe Grogan, told Independent.ie that it’s been a “long battle” to get Shane home as he has been “living in hospitals for the last five years”.

“He spent time in Beaumont Hospital, Galway University Hospital, the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire and in England too for treatment. He’s in a nursing home now and one of us would spend six or seven hours a day with him there,” said Joe.

Joe and his wife Joan’s current home is above a business in Tuam and would not be accessible for Shane. The majority of the funds to build the house are coming from the Care for Shane Foundation which was set up by the Grogans and their friends following Shane’s assault.

“Fundraising was a huge part of where we got the funds. We hold a balloon launch every race week to raise funds for Shane. It distracts us from the week that’s in it,” said Joe.

The Grogans have been campaigning for Shane for the last five years and have met with Health Minister Simon Harris and Minister of State for Disability Issues Finian McGrath, but Joe said it’s a struggle to get Shane the “basic human rights he deserves”.

“Not a lot has been done for people in this country who have brain injuries. It’s very hard. It’s a battle. We’ll win it eventually but sometimes you do meet very negative people who don’t have time for people like Shane,” he said.

Joe finds it “hard to believe” that it’s been five years since Shane’s assault and added that this time of year is hard as the anniversary is approaching.

“He was full of joy that night and had the whole of his life ahead of him. I was with him that night and he was happy because he’d had a few winners that day. He was a fine young man. It’s still very difficult,” explained Joe.

Care For Shane’s Great Balloon Race will take place on Saturday, August 1. You can donate to Care For Shane here

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