The family of a West Cork man who had both legs amputated is attempting to raise €250,000 to improve his quality of life.
Originally from Glengarriff but now living in London, Anthony Somers was a healthy 38-year-old before he contracted the Influenza B virus last year.
The virus quickly developed into hypothermia and resulted in complete organ failure. He went on to develop Critical Illness Neuropathy, a condition where the nerve endings in the hands and legs die.
His sister, Caroline Somers-Pejic, said: “We didn’t think he was going to make it.”
Anthony pulled through and started on the road to recovery, but the after-effects of his illness were severe.
Late last year, he had his left leg amputated. And last February, the day before his 40th birthday, his second leg was removed.
Currently, he has reduced mobility in his hands and requires 24-hour care.
Ms Somers-Pejic said while her brother has had to deal with a lot, his attitude is astonishing.
“He’s amazing; you can’t knock him down at all,” she said. “He’s given bad news and he just shrugs it off and keeps on going."
He even tells people how he ‘got legless’ for his 40th birthday.
Anthony, who has two children, has recently been allowed to return home for a few months.
While the hospital has provided Anthony with a special bed and hoist which is set up in his dining room, major modifications to his house are needed to enable him to return home on a permanent basis.
He also needs a vehicle with wheelchair access, voice-controlled equipment and gyroscopic legs to give him some mobility.
An online fundraising campaign has been set up to raise funds for Anthony’s needs. A concert is organised for next month and a charity calendar featuring images of Glengarriff will shortly be available.
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