Fundraising Walk for Kerry Mountain Rescue Team
A walk in aid of the Kerry Mountain Rescue Team (KMRT), organised by friends of a Killarney man who was brought to safety after being seriously injured on Carrantuohill, last July, is being held on June 10, 2017
Father-of-two James Cahill, Ballycasheen, Killarney, is still recovering from his injuries.
He had initially been paralysed from the shoulders down as a result of damaged vertebrae in his neck. But, following long months of medical treatment and difficult rehabilitation, is making good progress and walking again with assistance.
James had been hillwalking with his friend, Cllr John Joe Culloty, on the morning of Sunday July 10, 2016, when he slipped, lost control and fell 40ft over a ledge. He sustained extensive injuries to his face, which required 100 stitches, and right side of his body.
The pair had been descending from Carrantuohill and the accident occurred at a location known as the Zig Zags (Bothar na Gge), above the Hags Glen.
Conditions on the mountain were poor, with heavy rain and strong winds throughout the day. After treating James for his injuries at the scene, KMRT members lowered him by stretcher to Ard na Locha from where he was transferred to Kerry University Hospital by Rescue 115 Coastguard helicopter.
A total of 15 KMRT personnel were involved in the call-out and it was the third serious incident on this descent route in as many months.
Basically, I owe my life to the rescue team. Only for them, I might not have survived. I was suffering from hypothermia at the time. I couldnt say enough about the rescue team and the helicopter crew, said James, who is continuing to recover at home in Killarney.
James, who was unconscious after the fall, has hardly any memory of the incident. He underwent surgery at the Mater Hospital, Dublin, and afterwards spent four months at the National Rehabilitation Centre, Dun Laoire, which he described as the toughest ever.
The determined HSE official, who came out of hospital in a wheelchair, but has not used it, also thanked all those who have been treating him.
Im walking with difficulty and the challenge is to improve on that. I must start learning to do everything again. Im doing physical and occupational therapy and hydrotherapy and my aim is to get back as close as possible to where I was before the accident, he said.
His wife, Carmel, has been a constant source of help and inspiration and he links her when walking.
The 8/10km walk with James Cahill for KMRT will take place in the Muckross area of Killarney National Park, on June 10, at 11am. There will be a bucket collection and people who dont feel like walking can enjoy tea in park, in the Schoolhouse.
Link for online donation is as follows: