A YOUNG Irishman left with devastating brain injuries following a brutal unprovoked attack has moved to Britain to access specialist treatment.
Shane Grogan was walking his girlfriend home in the early hours of August 5, 2012, when he was hit on the head with a brick.
The pair were just five minutes away from Shane’s home in Tuam, Co. Galway when the horrific assault took place — leaving the 25-year-old with brain injuries so severe that he is now unable to walk or talk and requires round-the-clock care.
“Shane had been to the Galway races that day and had taken the bus home as he’d had a few drinks. I met up with him and his girlfriend at the pub, but I left at around 10pm,” Shane’s father Joe Grogan told The Irish Post this week.
“I remember at around 2.30am I received a phone call. I’m a funeral director by trade, so it wasn’t unusual to receive a call at this time, but it was Shane’s number, so I thought he’d been locked out,” he added.
“Then I heard his girlfriend screaming and telling me that Shane had been attacked. We rushed to where they were and found Shane lying on the ground. I knew then it was serious.”
Over the three years that have passed since the attack, the Grogan family has tried to come to terms with the incident that has changed all of their lives forever.
And Shane — a former accounts executive for a medical manufacturing company, described as “fun loving, an avid Liverpool fan and a music festival fan” by his father — has received specialist treatment at medical centres across Ireland.
This month he arrived in Britain for a three-month stay at the Leamington Spa Rehabilitation Hospital — one of the country’s leading centres dealing with traumatic brain injuries.
Along with his mother Joan, Shane will now reside at the Warwickshire hospital for the duration of his treatment, where rehabilitation consultant Dr Derar Badwan will aim to improve his cognitive function despite his ‘minimal consciousness state’.
And while the treatment he will receive in Britain this summer cannot guarantee an improvement in Shane’s condition, his father remains optimistic.
“There’s always a chance of recovery,” he said.
“We’ve got great faith in Leamington Spa hospital, we’re positive and hoping for a great response. We’re not expecting him to be able to walk out the door, but to get him to respond to us would be a start,” he added.
The move, and the associated costs for the family, has reignited a fundraising campaign set up to support the Grogans following the 2012 attack.
In less than two years the Care for Shane charitable trust, set up to raise money for Shane’s care, had received global support, collecting over e100,000.
Roughly 80-90 per cent of that fund will now be spent on his care in Britain, but the family also plan to use any additional funding to help build a medically-equipped unit at their Galway home, to allow Shane to receive his care at home in the future.
In 2013 19-year-old Shane Byrne, originally from Kilcarrig Avenue in Tallaght, Co Dublin, but living in Tuam at the time, pleaded guilty to reckless assault causing serious harm to Shane, and was jailed for two and a half years for the assault.
To donate to the Care for Shane campaign visit www.idonate.ie/1068_care-for-shane