Sunday 15 July 2018

'Jamie's attackers are walking the streets while he can't breathe for himself' - Sister's horror as brother fights for life

EXCLUSIVE: Jamie Hennessy's father collapsed outside ICU in Dublin today

Scene of the stabbing in Castlecomer and inset Corina Hennessy and brother Jamie
Scene of the stabbing in Castlecomer and inset Corina Hennessy and brother Jamie
Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

The sister of a man who was left fighting for life after a violent knife attack has called for those responsible to be arrested and charged.

Jamie Hennessy (22) was repeatedly stabbed in the head, neck and body in front of his young girlfriend after a fight broke out at a house in Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny last Saturday evening.

He was rushed to hospital where he was resuscitated twice after his heart stopped beating.

Doctors fought for over 24 hours to stop the bleeding in his neck and Mr Hennessy remains on a ventilator at the Mater Hospital in Dublin.

Corina Hennessy
Corina Hennessy

His father John travelled to Dublin to sit with his son at around 2pm today but collapsed outside the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Mr Hennessy's sister Corina said: "My Daddy was outside the ICU to see his son and he collapsed all of a sudden.

"He had to be moved to the A&E. His temperature and his blood pressure is up and they are doing tests to see what has happened.

"It is all stress related, it's all because of what these guys did to Jamie. Daddy has been with Jamie since Saturday. He's not sleeping and he's not eating."

Stab victim Jamie Hennessy
Stab victim Jamie Hennessy

Three men were arrested in connection with the stabbing on Saturday but all were subsequently released without charge. Earlier this week Independent.ie revealed that one of the men was previously arrested for the cold case murder of Gerry Nolan while a second man was arrested over the fatal stabbing of Kieran Monahan in 2012.

Corina Hennessy said she is struggling to understand why the suspects were freed.

"They were supposed to be his friends," she said. "They turned on him over a €20 mobile phone. All we want is justice done for Jamie. It is not right that they can walk the road and Jamie can't breathe on his own."

She added:

"They shouldn't have been walking the streets in the first place. How many more families and lives are they going ruin before they are locked up?"

 

Ms Hennessy explained that she and her parents were at a memorial mass for their cousin when they got the call at 8pm on Saturday to say that her younger brother had been stabbed.

"We didn't realise how bad it was," she said. "My dad and my mum went straight to Castlecomer but by the stage they got there he was gone in an ambulance so they followed that straight on to St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny.

Jamie Hennessy
Jamie Hennessy

"His heart stopped twice and they brought him back but it wasn't looking good. We were called in to say our goodbyes, to be honest."

Doctors battled to keep him alive and incredibly Jamie pulled through the first night.

On Sunday afternoon the family were allowed in to see him but what greeted them sent shivers down their spines.

"We thought he was gone," Ms Hennessy said. "We got in to see him ourselves about 12 noon the next day. He looked like he was dead. There was blood everywhere, all his dressings were covered in blood because they couldn't stop the bleeding. He was hooked up to a ventilator. We all broke down, the state they left him in."

The family were told that there was nothing more doctors could do for Jamie at St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny unless he stabilised.

Ms Hennessy said:

"We were saying our goodbyes because there was nothing they could do for him. To be honest we were making funeral arrangements."

Incredibly his condition improved and on Monday night he was moved to the Mater Hospital in Dublin. He remains there in a critical condition in ICU.

Attempts to take him off the ventilator have failed but the family remain hopeful that he will improve.

"If you keep calling his name his eyes flick open for a few seconds but that is all it is at the moment. The doctors said that he is fighting on.

"We are so impressed with how much of a fighter he is."

The family say they are "worn out" from the tragedy. Jamie's older brother John died in a car crash in 1998 which almost claimed the life of his sister Amanda.

Ms Hennessy said the family is "coming apart" but they are determined to fight on. Her mother Sandra is keeping a bedside vigil and hasn't left Jamie's side since he was first admitted on Sunday.

"We just want to get justice for Jamie."

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