Irish immigrant viciously assaulted in the Bronx
Needs cornea transplants to get his sight back
“I still can’t believe it happened,” said Paul shaking his head.
“I haven’t an enemy in the world and can’t understand how this could happen to me.”
Although no money or personal belongings were taken from the Irish man he believes that the attacker hadn’t time to carry out a robbery because the passerby interrupted him.
“I have no idea what he wanted or why he would do such a cruel thing but I’m glad this Good Samaritan came along to save my life,” admitted Caldwell, who lived in Queens for many years before moving to Woodlawn.
Paul, a bricklayer by trade, woke up in St. Barnabas hospital in the Bronx to a face he didn’t recognize. His attacker broke every bone in his face leaving him unrecognizable.
“My skull was cracked into pieces,” he said.
“It was very scary to be honest.”
Caldwell’s cousin, Niall Rice from Co. Dublin, told the Irish Voice he was only able to identify him by his shoes.
“When Paul got to the hospital his injuries were so bad that they initially thought he must have been hit by a car, they were that bad,” shared Rice.
Caldwell suffered broken eye sockets, broken cheeks, a broken nose and jaw and received multiple head fractures.
He has undergone numerous operations to rectify the broken bones, has five titanium plates keeping his face together and faces many more procedures to bring him back to the person he was before the attack.
Paul’s eyes were removed for repair but when they were put back in his vision was affected. He is now waiting on news about the double cornea transplant.
“I can’t see anything from my right eye and only about ten to 20 percent on my left, depending on the day. It’s like looking out a frosted window,” he said.
“And then I have to wait a year or two to see if my body doesn’t reject them so it’s going to be a long road to recovery.”
The young man will also need a lot of dental work, cheek and nose repairs down the road.
Paul doesn’t have medical insurance and the medical bills are already making a large pile on his kitchen table.
“I’ve no idea how I’m going to start paying them,” he said despondently.
“I’ve no income and won’t for a long time,”
Friends and relations of Caldwell are running a big benefit for him in the Heritage Bar and Restaurant in Yonkers on Sunday December 4. The fundraiser will kick off at 3pm and is expected to run late into the night. Boston’s Erin Og will perform. There will be live auctions on the night. Superb prizes have already been donated from local businesses and friends including a signed Chelsea and Celtic jersey, a signed 2011 Dublin football jersey, a round of golf with drinks and dinner, a night out in a bar for six people and many more.
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