Tragedy as popular Irish student dies in hospital days after US swimming accident

Tragedy as popular Irish student dies in hospital days after US swimming accident

AN IRISH student who got into difficulty while swimming and suffered a cardiac arrest has died in hospital just days after the incident. 

Philip Leahy, 22 and originally from Cork, was one of four swimmers rescued from the surf at North Division Street in Ocean City, Maryland, USA, last Wednesday, August 2.

One swimmer made it back to the shore while the OCFD crew assisted two others.

Mr Leahy suffered cardiac arrest during the rescue.

The popular CIT student, who was in the US on a J1 student visa, was brought to shore where CPR was administered before he was transported to Atlantic General Hospital in a ‘very serious condition.’

A GoFundMe set up by the Ballyhooley community for Mr Leahy and his medical costs - which raised over €93,000 - described him as a 'hugely popular' character.

"The Leahy family are cornerstones of the Ballyhooly community, Philip himself captained Ballyhooly to their first ever County Junior B Football title last year.

"Philip's outgoing personality and love of life make him a hugely popular character amongst all that know him."

Tragically, Mr Leahy died in hospital yesterday, August 6.


In a statement on behalf of the community, his home GAA club Ballyhooley GAA said: "To say the whole community is numb and in shock would be an understatement.

"The reaction to Philip's appeal has been overwhelming and a heartfelt thanks to all who contributed.

"The fund is now closed for further donations.

"Moneys collected to date will be used for medical expenses incurred, travel and other expenses that will arise in the coming days.

"Please keep Philip and the Leahy family in your thoughts and prayers."

Mr Leahy is survived by his mother Ann and two brothers.

The Department of Foreign Affairs have said they are aware of the case and are providing consular assistance.