In April 2017, 33 year old Keith Boyle, a marketing professional from North Dublin, was on a working trip to Bratislava, Slovakia. Following dinner one evening, he split off from his group to take a short walk to some historic ruins which had panoramic views of the city. It was dark and deserted and Keith misjudged his footing and fell fifteen to twenty feet, landing on his back. When he came around, Keith couldn’t move his legs and was lying in shrubbery which hid him from view.
Keith lay in the bushes in the centre of Bratislava for two days without food or water, calling out for help at intervals to conserve his voice. He made a conscious effort to stay awake during the day and sleep at night to save energy. He was discovered two days later by a passerby who called an ambulance. Four days after he was found, Keith underwent spinal surgery in Bratislava and spent two weeks in hospital waiting for a bed in Dublin.
The fall resulted in damage to Keith’s spinal cord leaving him paralysed from the waist down. He was flown back to Dublin and admitted to Beaumont Hospital’s Richmond Ward. His condition was assessed, based on his charts from Bratislava, and he began his rehab care immediately. He spent many weeks in Beaumont and is currently attending the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire to continue his rehab and hopes to further develop the range of his mobility.
Honour Your Heroes Award
Keith thanked physiotherapist, Cathy Keating. Cathy has worked with Keith since the beginning of his time on Richmond Ward, helping him to regain his mobility and orientating him towards learning to adapt to being a wheelchair user.