A fundraiser for a popular young hurler who suffered traumatic injuries in a pre-Christmas car accident surpassed its €150,000 target in less than 24 hours.
At the start of December, Mark Dalton, his twin brother Tom, and three friends were involved in a serious car accident.
Unfortunately, Mark has been left with major trauma to his spine.
The talented young hurler is a 5th year student in Pobalscoil na Tríonóide in Youghal, Co Cork.
Both he and his twin brother were set to play for Waterford in the Munster Minor Hurling Championship against Tipperary in Páirc Uí Rinn in Cork just a few days after the accident.
Mark received care from first responders, paramedics, and staff at Cork University Hospital and the Spinal Unit of the Mater Hospital.
He will continue his rehabilitation in the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dun Laoghaire.
A GoFundMe was set up by Mark's friends to raise money to adapt the teenager's house, to make it more accessible so Mark can return home as soon as possible.
According to the fundraiser, the front door and hallway will need to be made accessible, an open-plan accessible kitchen and living space will need to be developed, as well as an accessible bedroom and bathroom for Mark.
Within 24 hours, the fundraiser passed its €150,000 target, reaching more than €185,000. Since, it has exceeded €220,000 and is showing no signs of slowing down.
Mark's school principal, Séamas Ó Ceallacháin, was quoted on the GoFundMe page and spoke very highly of the teenager. "There’s one or two in every school and community; ye know the kind of young man I am talking about.
"Without ever trying to command attention, the guy who seamlessly gains the respect of his colleagues and whom you know is a team player. That fellow who never sets out to be the focal point of conversation yet is very popular with everybody.
"The person you know that will always be there for you if you are in a corner but doesn’t want to be overpowering."
Darragh Duggan, the Waterford minor hurling manager, also praised Mark and his brother for their sporting talent and good nature.
"Mark is and was, along with his twin brother Tom, a very important member of this year’s county minor hurling panel.
"Armed with a relaxed but focused attitude, Mark developed into a fine young hurler who excelled in an attacking role.
"Mark’s contribution to the panel was immense and his searing pace, along with a superb eye for a score, was sorely missed in our championship outing against Tipperary."
If you would like to donate to the fund, you can do so here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/mq8pu-mark-dalton-recovery-fund.