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Wednesday 19 September 2018

A family Christmas for miracle Dad who defied death in horror plunge

Dave Conway and his daughter Keisha
Dave Conway and his daughter Keisha

A father who defied death in a fall from a seven-storey building is looking forward to Christmas and the future.

Dave Conway (37), originally from Rathcoole, Co Dublin, lost both his feet in the horrific fall five months ago when working on a construction site close to Brisbane on the Australian Gold Coast.

The plucky and upbeat Dubliner will be celebrating both being alive and the festive season with Mum Connie and Dad Shay, his partner Vivienne and seven-year-old daughter Keisha.

Connie has remained in Australia since her son's life-changing fall and visits him daily. Dave emigrated there in 2002.

Two days after his fall, Dave's parents and brothers - Stephen (40) and Richie (35) - flew out to be with him not knowing if he would be alive once they made it to Brisbane.

Scaffolding

Dave was resuscitated by colleagues after falling 20 metres through scaffolding on to concrete at Lakefront Crescent at Varsity Lakes on the Gold Coast.

Stephen, who has just returned to Rathcoole from visiting him a second time since the accident, said the day his brother fell will never be forgotten.

"It's quite ironic really when you think about Dave's fall," he said.

"He fell seven storeys at 7am on his daughter's seventh birthday. It has been a very long road for him and it will continue to be, but he knows how blessed he is to be here.

"He is looking forward to the future and every day he is getting healthier, fitter and closer to getting out of hospital. Everyone is hopeful he will be discharged around March.

"While I was there I thought my brother would be down and depressed about what has and is happening to him but he has a goal and that is to get stronger and fitter to live a long life for his daughter, his partner, our parents, my brother Richie and myself.

"All of us just want the best for him because he is such a good guy. Everyone rallied round when he had his accident first and a large amount of money was raised to help with his medical costs. Everyone's thoughts and offers of help and money here in Ireland, the US and worldwide has been absolutely amazing.

"He had two amputations from just below the knee so Dave is practising how to use a wheelchair. In a few months' time he will get his prosthetics, so we will have to see how his body reacts and how he copes with them.

"We are all looking forward to the day that Dave is able to come home to Ireland for a visit but the whole family is realistic that won't be for a long time."

The Dubliner has undergone 26 operations and nine other procedures.

"Dave does get quiet when he thinks about what's happened to him but our mam goes in to the hospital to be with him every day and that is helping to lift his spirits, as are Vivienne and Keisha," added Stephen.

"Dave knows that he could have died, that his injuries could have been so much worse. He could have spine or brain injuries and that would have been so tough for him.

Strangth

"But he's now able to get out to the hospital garden and the doctors have even prescribed him Guinness to help build up his strength and he's loving that. Every day now is another day closer to him getting better and better."

With Christmas just a week away, the Conway family desperately want to thank so many people who have helped them over the past five months.

"There have been numerous fundraisers and there are just so many people to thank who just went out of their way to help us," said Stephen.

"But he would like in particular to acknowledge medical staff at the hospital, the unfailing help of Muldowney's pub and the Poitin Stil Golf Society, both in Rathcoole, along with local businesses such as Saints Creche, Pamela Fitzgerald, the Tansey girls and O'Malley's Pub in Brisbane. More than $50,000 Australian dollars has been raised.

"The entire family hopes everyone has a wonderful Christmas and good 2018, as we will knowing Dave is alive."

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