After endless days of snow, Storm Emma left one Cork student badly injured. 19-year-old Jack O'Driscoll from Cork was enjoying the snow with his friends when a fall resulted in a fractured C5 vertebrate in his neck.
Jack will undergo months of treatment and, to help him throughout his recovery, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover the costs of the treatment. The family have been overwhelmed by the €100,000 raised in donations for Jack's treatment. Speaking on Cork's Red FM, Brian Punch, a cousin of Jack's, said that Jack's spirits were boosted by the donations on the GoFundMe page:
Jack is in good form, he's in the Mater Hospital in Dublin at the moment, he's in the dedicated spinal ward there. All along he's been positive. He's been upbeat about things and he's determined. Mentally he's got it all squared up. At the moment we're at a stage where we're waiting for swelling and things to go down. The full extent of his injuries are still unknown.
Although early reports indicated that Jack was paralysed, Brian indicates that the student is able to move parts of his upper back, arms, and shoulders.
There was a story that gathered momentum, that he was up on a wall with his dad, and that they were trying to get pictures of the snow. They're inaccurate. The city was shut down and Jack was off college and out with friends. They were just playing in the snow. They were up in soccer pitches at Mayfield, and basically they were just jumping into the snow. Whatever way Jack jumped into a pile of snow, he just didn't get out of it. The friends that he was with reacted very quickly, and they alerted the emergency services and Jack's dad, who arrived on the scene.
Jack was studying environmental engineering in CIT and Brian hopes that one day he will complete his course. Jack's recovery is expected to take a particular amount of time before he is transferred from the Mater Hospital, to the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) in Dún Laoghaire.
The GoFundMe page has received over 2,500 donations so far with its goal to reach €200,000. If you'd like to donate to the Jack O' Driscoll GoFundMe click here.