Fundraising for Castleisland man facing recovery battle

Sinead Kelleher and John Reidy

A Castleisland man who has spent the past month fighting for his life is hoping to move to a rehab centre in the coming weeks on his long road to recovery.

Kenneth Golden, who is originally from Riverside Drive, got an  infection on the weekend of October 13 which led to serious surgery, a heart issue and an induced coma. Thankfully, he is making progress following the ordeal.  

"It is baby steps. He is off the ventilator but he is still receiving oxygen," said his wife, Laurel Golden. "He is not as awake as they would like him to be but there is progress."

Laurel and Kenneth marked their 20th wedding anniversary last week with Kenneth lying in a coma in a hospital bed. The couple met just 10 days after Kenneth emigrated to Chicago where he is now a police officer. 

The Castleisland man followed in the footsteps of his father who was Garda Tom Golden. He was well known in GAA circles but passed away 10 years ago.

Kenneth's mother, who still lives in Castleisland, flew to the US to be by her son's bed side and to help the family through this very difficult time. "We didn't anticipate any of this. Kenneth got an infection that started in his throat, in the epiglottis, which is the flap between the throat and the oesophagus, and he went spiralling downwards," explained Lauren. 

The family's life in Chicago as now being turned upside down as Lauren and Kenneth's mother try to keep everything going. 

They have no idea when Kenneth will come home. It is hoped to move him to a step-down unit in the coming days and from there to Rehab. 

"They anticipate a full recovery but it will take time," said Laurel.

The couple have three children Declan (8) and twins Eamon and Eoin (6), all of whom have visited Castleisland. "The hardest thing is to try and keep the boys on a normal schedule so they don't realise how serious it is." 

While Kenneth has insurance, the extra costs are proving a burden on the family and a Go Fund Me page has been started by friends to help them.

"Kenneth has insurance but while he is being paid that will be reduced to disability and we can't afford all the extra costs. It is going to be a while before Kenneth is back to normal," explained Laurel.

Kenneth, now in his late 40s, is a past pupil of Castleisland Community and was very popular and witty, part-time barman at several locations in Castleisland prior to emigrating. 

Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so by logging onto www.gofundme.com/kenneth-golden-medical-fund which has raised more than $10,000 to date.

Kerryman

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