A Cork man who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a freak accident while in the US is now out of intensive care.
Liam O’Connell, 31, from Ballincollig, had been working as a civil engineer in Vancouver, Canada, for the past eight years.
However, just over three weeks ago, on October 5, Liam, affectionately known as Doug by friends, suffered serious head injuries after an accident involving an electric scooter while holidaying in Los Angeles.
Emergency services rushed him to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Centre in a critical condition. He was diagnosed with a fractured skull, subdural bleeding, and traumatic swelling of the brain.
Emergency surgery was carried out, involving a decompressive craniectomy procedure, where a section of his skull was removed to relieve pressure on his brain.
The treatment forced Liam into a medically induced coma where he has also had to battle pneumonia and several other complications.
Posting an update on the fundraising page The Fight of Liam (Doug’s) Life, on crowdfunding site Gofundme.com, his friends said: “Firstly, thank you to everyone who has continued to donate to our campaign — such generous donations and words of support and encouragement will be so significant to Liam’s road to full recovery.
“More great news received from Liam’s dad Dave from Los Angeles. Liam’s progress (has) accelerated, so much so that doctors were able to move him out of the intensive care unit and into his own room.
“Liam has also started to talk again which is a huge relief to his family and friends. Such great advancements mean that doctors have begun to discuss moving Liam back to Vancouver via air ambulance in the coming days to continue his recovery there.
“As you can imagine, we are delighted with this latest update. Liam’s sister Caitríona is travelling back to Los Angeles on Monday to be with Liam and his Dad.
“We can only hope that Liam’s condition continues to improve day by day.”
Almost €90,000 has been raised for Liam, described by close friend Cian O’Callaghan as “a role model to his younger twin brothers Eoin and Gearoid, best friend to his older sister Caitríona, and loving son of Kathleen and Dave.”