Monday 10 December 2018

'We just want to get him home' - Irishman seriously injured after being hit by a bus in Budapest

Michael Cuffe (32) went to the Hungarian capital last Friday with three friends for a weekend away but just hours after he arrived he was struck by a bus
Michael Cuffe (32) went to the Hungarian capital last Friday with three friends for a weekend away but just hours after he arrived he was struck by a bus
Kathy Armstrong

Kathy Armstrong

An Irishman was seriously injured after he was hit by a bus in Budapest last weekend.

Michael Cuffe (32) went to the Hungarian capital last Friday with three friends for a weekend away but just hours after he arrived he was struck by a bus.

Michael, who is from Ballina in Co Mayo, suffered life-changing injuries, including two broken bones in his neck, two broken bones in his back, a broken collarbone and a triple leg fracture.

His devastated family are now fundraising to help bring Michael home for treatment.

Michael at a family wedding, (L-R): Sean, Martin, Therese, Arthur, Marie, John, Naomi and Michael
Michael at a family wedding, (L-R): Sean, Martin, Therese, Arthur, Marie, John, Naomi and Michael

His sister Naomi told Independent.ie: "While he has a lot that is wrong it could have been a lot worse, luckily there was a radiologist on the bus who was able to give him CPR and stabilise Michael while they waited for the ambulance.

"If there hadn't been a medic on that bus to keep oxygen going to his brain things could have been very different.

"I don't know anyone who gets hit by a bus and survives like that."

She continued to say: "He is stable but he's been put in a body cast and will have to come home on a spinal board, no commercial airline accommodates for spinal boards so that's why we need an air ambulace.

"The cost of air ambulances is huge and since they're all private insurance doesn't cover them, that's why I set up the GoFundMe, to raise as much money as I can to get him home.

"The costs are so substantial and we're just trying to alleviate that stress."

Air ambulances cost thousands of euro to travel between Budapest and Ireland.

Naomi's parents flew to Hungary to be by Michael's bedside last weekend and they hope he will be able to travel home in the next couple of weeks.
From there they expect that he will be cared for in the Mater Hospital, although that hasn't been confirmed yet.

Michael Cuffe
Michael Cuffe

"The doctors think he will walk again but it will be a long recovery.

"He's awake and he's in a lot of pain but he has stabilised, although you never know what could prevail," she said.

Naomi added that hey are stunned by his accident, saying: "It was his first night in Budapest and he spent it on an operating table, it just seems like a freak accident.

"We just want to get him home, it's been tough but we are getting there."

The GoFundMe has raised more than €13,000 in less than 24 hours and Naomi said her family are blown away by people's generosity.

For more information or to donate please visit here

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