SportsNewsIreland has brought you regular updates throughout the Summer on the ‘shocking’ case of Mark McGovern, the young Fermanagh footballer from Belcoo O’Rahilly’s who was ‘ seriously injured’ in a match in San Francisco on June 25th. McGovern who with two club mates had just arrived in the United States sustained his injuries in an ‘off the ball’ incident against the Celts club,one of whose number, Patrick Power was later cited by S.F police as a ‘person of interest’ in connection with the incident.
On Monday 5th September, McGovern ‘celebrates’ his 23rd birthday having had many weeks intense treatment in San Francisco General Hospital and overcome a liver complaint, the MRSA super bug and a bout of pneumonia. These conditions were all considered life threatening, but thanks to his incredible resolve and the professional skills of the staff at San Francisco General, Mark battled through and has recently started an intensive course of rehabilitation at Honda Laguna Hospital . So for young Mark’s family there is light at the end of the tunnel but they also face a huge hospital and rehabilitation bill, believed to be in the region of 1.25 M-I-L-L-I-O-N U.S Dollars and rising at a rate of around 8,000 Dollars a day.
A Support Fund was set up in Mark’s name by the Belcoo O’Rahilly’s club to help contribute towards the vast medical bills ,rehabilitation and physiotherapy expenses that have already occurred in America and will continue to occur as Mark fights to make a full recovery and towards his eventual aeromedical repatriation to Ireland . His is an extremely long and difficult road ahead but the continued support he has received from people on this island and from Iris hand non-Irish further afield has been considerable. The goodwill messages of support, along with generous donations to the Support Fund are very much appreciated by his family who have been at his bedside since that fateful weekend in June, even more appreciated when you consider the current economic climate we find ourselves in.
GAA HQ have kindly made an exception to their normal policies and generously allowed Belcoo O’Rahilly’s to collect around Croke Park on both the All Ireland Hurling and Football Final days. Mark’s family and indeed the Belcoo club thank you in advance for whatever support you can provide; the members of the Belcoo O’Rahilly’s club will be clearly visible around Croke Park on finals days and one feels sure that the GAA family, irrespective of which team they support will again give generously to this worthy cause. There are of course also many GAA supporters throughout the world who will be watching the big games in their own home, in pubs and clubs worldwide on these great occasions. Many have already asked how can they contribute? For full details of how you can support the fund see final paragraph.
Mark’s family and club would like to thank everyone for their continued support and ask that you continue to keep Mark and his family in our thoughts and prayers over the coming weeks. The ‘off the ball’ incident is still subject of enquiries by the San Francisco police and as SportsNewsIreland reported recently Celts player Patrick Power was given a 96-week suspension by the San Francisco GAA Competition Control Committee.
McGovern’s sister, Grace commented recently: “”Mark is just an inspiration. He obviously has a long road to go, but at the minute we’re just glad that we’ve got our Mark with us.”
Ms McGovern said a lot of fundraising efforts at home and abroad were helping the family to cope with Mark’s medical and rehabilitation costs in the US, which have so far, exceeded $1.25m.
“It is not just in San Francisco, at home in Ireland, in Britain, in other parts of America, it has even stretched to Hong Kong.
“I can’t even express in words how thankful we are of the support, the prayers, the thoughts, the time and effort that people have put in.
“We will never know how we will repay all these people.”
The family have also received tremendous support from the village of Belcoo.
“Home is where the heart is,” said Ms McGovern.
“Between our friends, Mark’s friends and also from people we don’t even know.
“I have had more messages on Facebook and emails from people I don’t even know who are coming together to help, and it is so great to see a community coming together and to know that good things come from bad things.”
YOU can also donate to the Mark McGovern Support Fund online athttps://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/markmcgovernsupportfund or directly to the Mark McGovern Support Fund Bank Account at Bank of Ireland in Main Street, Lisnaskea Sort Code 90-50-53 Account No. 85880288 .All cheques payable to Mark McGovern Support Fund.