Big-hearted Ireland star Alan Browne has donated the jersey from his international debut to help paralysed Cork teen
A FOOTBALL star has donated a prized signed jersey from his full Irish international debut to an auction in aid of a paralysed Cork teenager.
Alan Browne (23) of Preston North End has donated the jersey he proudly wore on his full Irish international debut against Turkey to be auctioned off in aid of the Jack O'Driscoll Appeal Fund.
Alan, formerly of Cork City, was the captain of Ireland's U-19 side and also played for Ireland's U-21s. He has been earning rave reviews
for his performances for Preston North End and now has two full caps for the Republic.
Friends said that while he would have loved to have framed and kept his Irish jersey from the Turkey match, the Cork-born star felt
donating it to the appeal fund was "a better place for it."
The jersey was signed by Alan and the entire Irish squad. Jack (19), a keen sportsman, was walking to his Mayfield home in Cork
in adherence with the red alert from Met Eireann before Storm Emma hit when he suffered a freak fall in the snow and ice.
Tragically, the young man suffered a serious injury to his spine in the fall on March 1 which occurred two hours before the full storm
warning came into effect.
A special GoFundMe appeal was launched after it was confirmed the teen fractured his C5 vertebrae in his neck and now faces possibly being left paralysed from the chest down.
The appeal aims to raise €200,000 for Jack given his new medical and living needs - and has already raised almost €130,000.
A €500 bid is already in place for Alan Browne's jersey - but organisers of the auction hope it will fetch much more.
"Jack was brought to Cork University Hospital immediately after the accident," explained the appeal fund launched by family and friends.
"However the severity of his injury required him to be transferred to the Dublin to undergo surgery in the Mater Hospital.
"He is currently in the hospitals High Dependency Unit (HDU) where he is receiving first class care from the teams of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals.
"This is the first tentative stage in a long road to recovery for Jack.
"Through all of this Jack has remained positive, upbeat and determined.
"Based on Jack’s outlook, his friends and family are hopeful that his progress will continue and allow him to begin the next stage of his
rehabilitation at the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) in Dún Laoghaire.
"Since the accident Jack’s family have been overwhelmed by goodwill and support. Therefore, members of Jack's friends and family have established this funding page with the goal of raising the necessary funds for the dedicated support and treatment he will require."
"We feel we owe it to Jack to approach this aspect of his recovery with the same determination he has shown in the early stages of his rehabilitation."