Young Irishman, 20, paralysed in freak Storm Emma accident returns home to family for Christmas
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Young Irishman, 20, paralysed in freak Storm Emma accident returns home to family for Christmas

A YOUNG Irishman who was left paralysed after a horrific accident during Storm Emma earlier this year has finally returned home in time for Christmas.

Jack O'Driscoll, 20, from Mayfield in Co. Cork, was left paralysed from the shoulders down following a freak fall on March 1 this year.

The keen sportsman spent nine months in the High Dependency Unit (HDU) at the Mater Hospital, Dublin, and the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) in Dun Laoghaire, after suffering a serious injury to his spine while walking in snow and ice.

The life-changing fall occurred while Jack was adhering to a Status Red alert from Met Éireann by walking home just two hours after the warning came into effect.

He fractured the C5 vertebrae in his neck and was left paralysed from the shoulders down, but has slowly been recovering movement in his arms via surgery and intensive rehabilitation.

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The sports-mad youngster's family and friends have been fundraising for his home in Mayfield to be converted to suit his needs.

Jack O'Driscoll, 20, was paralysed from the shoulders down in a fall on March 1 (Image: Twitter)

Thanks to the Jack O'Driscoll Fund, his family recently acquired a Ford Mobility vehicle which they had been using to visit him in Dun Laoghaire before he was discharged.

They are now using the vehicle to bring Jack to his grandmother's house where he will celebrate Christmas with his loved-ones.

A post shared on the Jack O'Driscoll Fund Facebook page reads: "We are delighted to share the news that Jack has come back to Cork, after nine months of rehabilitation in Dublin since his accident.

"As a proud Cork man – he was delighted to be down among family, friends and the community that has supported him since his accident.

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"Jack finished up with his rehabilitation with the NRH and has moved to a care facility in Cork, while waiting for the final move home.

"We are delighted to support Jack and his family in these preparations and renovations to his home.

"On behalf of Jack, his family, friends and all involved in The Jack O'Driscoll Fund – we would again like to thank very one for the support over the last nine months and wish a happy and peaceful Christmas to all."