The GAA family rallies round C...

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The GAA family rallies round Cork star

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You might think you're having a bad day, but there is always someone worse off. Imagine being in the prime of your life, going about your daily routine and looking forward to a summers evening sports activity, only to be paralysed by a viral infection.

That's exactly what happened Jamie Wall.

Born on the 21st of July 1992, in Our Lady of Lourdes hospital, Drogheda, Co. Louth and since Jamie was old enough to walk, he was old enough to play. 'I played my first football match in Oristown Co. Meath aged 4 for my local naíonra vs. The local junior infant class. I got the bug early on. I was brought up on a diet of Manchester United, Meath football, and later, Cork GAA. As a 5 year old I dreamt of being Gary Neville one day, Colm Coyle the next.' says Jamie. 

On the 4th of July 2010 he won his first Munster championship. On the 28th of June, 2014, he should have captained his club, Kilbrittain, in the second round of the Cork Premier Intermediate hurling championship. Instead, he was rushed to hospital with an epidural abscess on his spine, which had, and has since rendered him paralysed from the midriff down.

The term 'there but for the grace of God go any of us' springs to mind.

Since then Jamie has engaged in rehabilitative therapies, first in Beaumont hospital, and then the NRH in Dún Laoghaire and has spent almost 8 months in hospital. 

Paddy Ryan who is involved with the Friends of Jamie Wall Trust drew my attention to the story. Jamie would be a contemporary of many of the GAA's current stars.

Here he is in the Irish Daily Mail Fitzgibbon Cup Quarter-Final, at Parnells GAA Club, Coolock in 2013 in action for Mary Immaculate College putting pressure on DIT's Liam Rushe.

I know from personal experience in my own family that the GAA is an incredible comfort blanket when going through hard times. I met Ken McGrath at Kilkenny's River Court Hotel last Sunday before the League Semi Finals, and the Mount Sion man is similarly grateful for the support he received during his cardiac scare last year.

Now Jamie's friends are rallying round and have managed to secure the support of the All Ireland Champions for an event at the weekend that deserves support.

Jamie himself is chasing a different victory this year.

'This year, I want to join the group of people who want to be part of a different race. The race for the cure. The most important piece of advice I was ever given came in the form of simple mantra; ‘Never Give Up, Never Let Up.’.

Good advice for life and go neiri an t-adh leat Jamie.

Check out friendsofjamiewall.ie for more info.


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