Friends launch fundraising CD for crash victim Padraig
Friends of a young Dublin man who suffered severe brain injuries in a road accident in the US have come together to release a fundraising album.
Padraig Schaler (24), from Glasnevin, has been in a minimally conscious state since being knocked off his bike by a van as he cycled to work in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in June last year.
He had just completed his undergraduate studies in Irish and history at Trinity College and had planned to spend the summer on a J1 working visa in the States .
After a few weeks in a Cape Cod hospital, his family brought him home to Dublin's Beaumont Hospital.
Four months later, they decided to move him to a dedicated neuro-rehab facility in Hamburg, where he is making steady progress.
Since the accident, Padraig's friends and family have organised many fundraisers, the latest one being a bilingual CD of music and poems they recorded.
They hope to raise as much money as possible, with all proceeds from Amhran do Phadraig going towards the expense of Padraig's care.
His friend Aindriu Mac an Ri, from Ballinteer, said the 10-track album will be officially launched on Wednesday, but is already on sale online.
"We worked very closely together in the Irish society in Trinity when we were both in college," said Aindriu (23).
"In the last couple of months Padraig's consciousness has improved, according to the doctors."
Padraig's friends have been to Hamburg to visit him, encouraging him to stay strong.
"He' s been there now for a year," said Aindriu.
Padraig's dad, Reinhard, said he sustained "very severe brain injuries", but against all the odds he survived and some months ago began to respond and answer questions by using simple movements.
"He is beginning to show recognition and has begun saying a small number of meaningful words such as 'hello' and 'slan'," said Mr Schaler, who is a lecturer at the University of Limerick.
"Every day he is making slow but steady progress."
Many people have been keeping up to date on Padraig's progress thanks to the blog posts his dad writes at www.hospi-tales.com
Amhran do Phadraig can be bought on www.amhrandophadraig.com. It will be launched at the Grand Social at 8pm on Wednesday.