Speaking from the San Francisco General Hospital, where severely injured GAA player Mark McGovern's parents are sitting by his bedside. Their son has battled for his life for the past five weeks, and his family have vowed to remain in the US until his recovery.
Heartbroken dad Danny McGovern told the Belfast Telegraph, "It's been the worst month ever in our lives. The doctors have told us it's going to be a rollercoaster. There will be good days and bad days. He has been showing signs he might be able to recover but then you just don't know what's going to happen next."
The young GAA player has not been able to speak since the incident and even though he has just been taken off the critical list, his anxious family are unsure of the outcome and are uncertain to whether he has been left with permanent brain damage.
Mark McGovern (20) suffered severe head injuries during his first GAA game in the United States. He travelled to San Francisco last month with the intention of playing for three months with the local Ulster San Francisco GAA team. But during a game against the Celts, he suffered a traumatic head injury that immediately left him unconscious.
Mark's sisters Grace (25), Helen (28), and Connie (30) along with his parents Danny and Josie and his girlfriend of three years, Jessica Turley (21), have all travelled to the States to be by his side.
McGovern’s sister Connie added, “We're here every day, seven days a week sitting at his bedside being confident and being strong around him because we feel that he knows we are there.”
San Francisco police investigate violent incident
Police are investigating the incident and say they have a named a player for the opposing San Francisco Celts GAA team as a 'person of interest.'
As yet, nobody has offered any information witnessed that day and as there is very little to no co-operation from the San Francisco Celts with this investigation, the police are pleading for witnesses to assist them.
It appears that a crowd member who was video recording the game, may have captured footage of the incident. Yet still police have not managed to speak to any persons present at the game that the young GAA player suffered the near-fatal blow.
The Belfast Telegraph reports that the film has not been made available to police. A spokeswoman for San Francisco Police Department said: "We would urge anyone with information to come forward. The investigation will continue but we're trying to contact this person as it is imperative we speak to him. We're asking for the public's help with the investigation."
Doctors have also issued a plea on behalf of Mark, saying that his chances of recovery will vastly improve if they know how he suffered his injuries.