Brave Jack gives thumbs up from hospital on long road to recovery


Laura Larkin and Paul Healy

BRAVE Berkeley survivor Jack Halpin - who was hailed a hero for breaking his friend's fall - has shared a smiling snap taken from his hospital bed.

Jack, a 21-year-old UCD student, suffered serious injuries when a balcony collapsed during a 21st birthday party in California.

He suffered spinal injuries, a broken hip, a broken leg, a shattered knee-cap and internal injuries.

A picture of the young man smiling and giving the camera a thumbs up from his hospital bed has been published on a charity page set up to raise funds for his recovery.

According to an update sent to his GAA pals, all of his injuries involve major surgery.

He now faces "a very long and complicated" course of rehabilitation with intensive physiotherapy.

His family will also have to modify their home when their son eventually makes the trip back to Ireland.

The promising St Jude's hurler was hailed a hero when it emerged he broke his friend Clodagh Cogley's fall.

Clodagh has been keeping her Irish friends updated on her recovery and the brave student recently revealed it was unclear if she would ever walk again.

Her family thanked Jack for his quick thinking during the accident as they jetted out to the US.

However, the PRO of his GAA club has now said that the Rathmines man doesn't remember much of the horrific accident and is uneasy about being labelled a hero.

"He didn't really want the whole hero thing, it didn't sit well with him," Fergus McNally said.

"He doesn't like that whole angle. I don't think he really remembers what happened.

"I think Clodagh is more injured than he is, so it was all very confusing for him and he doesn't want to focus on all that," he continued.

Mr McNally said that Jack was a "fighter".

"Anyone who knew him in the club knew he was a strong lad, he was a fighter and he wouldn't give up easily," he said.

He added that it would be weeks before Jack was able to transfer from hospital to a rehab facility in the US.

St Judes have set up a fundraising drive to help Jack's family pay for the costs associated with his recovery and have organised a comedy night on Saturday.

Next Wednesday the Omniplex cinema in Rathmines where he works will host a Disney screening with proceeds going to the JudesForJack Fund.