Kildare man Philip Leavy has made a “miracle” recovery after having part of his skull removed to save his life.
An Irishman is stranded in California after suffering a severe head injury when he was struck by a car. On February 1, 30-year-old Philip Leavy from Maynooth, Co. Kildare, was hit as he legally crossed the road, giving him a life-threatening head injury. Visiting a friend in California, Leavy had moved to the US on a graduate visa just a few weeks before his accident.
The 30-year-old was rushed to the hospital and underwent an emergency operation to remove part of his skull, placing him in a coma for two weeks.
"I was walking to the shop one day at around 12pm and that's the last thing I can remember from that day,” Leavy told the Irish Independent.
"The police and friends have told me that I was legally crossing at an intersection when I was hit by a car.
"I was brought to the hospital and within eleven minutes of arriving there I had an emergency craniotomy operation, I was then put into an induced coma.
"The doctors have told me that if I arrived at the hospital even fifteen minutes later I would have been a goner."
On waking up from the coma, Leavy was convinced he was back in Ireland and would only believe he was in California when his brother should him his location on Google Maps.
He remained in the hospital for a month before spending eight days in a rehabilitation clinic in L.A. Despite his severe head injury, Leavy has no physical injuries but still suffers from headaches every day and has been told that he can not work or drive for a full year.
He is also now stranded in California as he struggles to cover the costs of his medical expenses and the costs that come from being unable to work. Leavy’s travel insurance covered the initial hospital bills but he is now also required to take medication for his injury. Although the driver was cited, they carried the minimum amount of liability which was liened for the medical bills.
Can we get Phil healed and back to his Irish homeland and family? ☘️☘️
Philip Leavy https://t.co/cV5cBR6NN2— Old lady on soap box (@maryatsis) May 23, 2018
As he remains in California with a friend, a GoFundMe page has been set up to look for a further medical opinion on flying back to Ireland and living expenses as he cannot work. Over $16,000 has already been raised.
"It's given me a boost to know that people would even go to that effort,” Leavy said.
"People over here and all the hospital and rehab staff have been so good to me but I'm desperately homesick.
"I'm going to see a neurologist for a second opinion tomorrow about when I can get a second brain surgery that I need, from where he will be able to assess when it's safe for me to go home.
"I think it will take about eight weeks and I'm looking forward to going back to Ireland."
You can find the GoFundMe here.