Five years on from the accident that left doctors asking his parents whether they really wanted an “intolerable life” for their son, Pádraig Schaler returns to Cape Cod.

A young Dublin man who received a serious brain injury after he was knocked off his bike while in Cape Cod on a summer J-1 visa is to return to the site of his accident five years on to raise awareness of bike safety.

On June 27, 2013, Pádraig Schaler was hit by a 4.3-ton truck in Brewster while working in the area on a summer visa. He was left in a Minimally Conscious State (MCS) and his parents Reinhard and Patricia were told by doctors that he “would have an intolerable life” and may not survive his injuries.

Read more: Family of Irish student hit by van call for an independent investigation

He was transferred to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin after the accident where he spent three and a half months in a high dependency ward until his family decided to move him to an intensive neuro-lab in Germany because the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NHR) in Dun Laoghaire had a one-year waiting list. Having since returned to Ireland, he is now at the point where he can communicate with his family.

Despite the earlier claims by doctors, Pádraig will be accompanied by his parents and closest friend on Wednesday, June 27, as he travels in his wheelchair along the last mile to Route 6A in Brewster where the catastrophic accident changed their lives.

Read more: Family of Pádraig Schaler says Ireland’s healthcare system failed him

Pádraig at a recent Nick Cave and Patti Smith gig. Source: Reinhardt Schaler.

Pádraig at a recent Nick Cave and Patti Smith gig. Source: Reinhardt Schaler.

Named a “Walk for Life,” they will journey from Brewster Police Department to the spot of the accident to highlight issues they still feel are open.

“It will be the first time for Pádraig to come back to the place and will be a very emotional trip for us all, especially because nobody really believed he would ever be able to come back,” his father Reinhard said in an email to IrishCentral.

“Some believed he would never make the trip in the air ambulance back to Ireland 5 years ago in the first place.”

With their Walk for Life, the family want to:

  • Remind drivers to ‘share the road’ and drive responsibly;
  • Call for thorough, unbiased accident investigations, especially those involving cyclists;
  • Highlight the enormous emotional and financial burden on families of victims;
  • Repeat their call for a programme of driver education on the Cape and an initiative to make adequate insurance cover for drivers obligatory.

.@ForPadraig’s story never fails to move me. His parents’ dedication after his accident in the face of healthcare & other obstacles means their son has a life that people told them he’d never have https://t.co/4JDdRWKhEi

— Aoife Barry (@sweetoblivion26) June 17, 2018

Before the walk, the family also hope to meet Attorney General Maura Healy in Boston to receive an update on the investigation into the serious issues they raised in relation to the accident investigation.

Pádraig’s family hope that others will be able to join their “Walk for Life” on June 27, starting out at the Brewster Police Department at 9:00am. You can register to walk with them here

If you can’t join the walk, you can tweet your support using the hashtags #SaolWalk, #PadraigsWalk and tagging @MassGovernor, @MassAGO, @BostonGlobe and @SimonHarriss TD.

You can also help Pádraig’s family and friends to cover his life-long specialized neurological rehabilitation program by kindly making a donation via their website or https://www.gofundme.com/PadraigsWalkforLife.

Trinity student Pádraig Schaler.