Tag Archives: mayo

MY Story – By Lester Cassidy

My Story – By Lester Cassidy

It was the 23rd of July 1998, just four days after my 19th birthday and for me it was just another Thursday at work as an apprentice carpenter, or so I thought… Little did I know, in the blink of an eye, my life would be turned upside down and changed forever.

Shortly after lunchtime as I was working on the roof of a two story house on a building site in Leixlip, the scaffolding gave way from underneath me and I fell about 24ft. I’ll never forget trying to grab scaffolding bars mid fall trying to save myself or break my fall but unlike you see in the movies it’s near impossible. I hit the ground with tremendous force. Unfortunately I landed on a scaffolding plank on its side, I’ll never forget the sound of hearing my back snap and the pain that followed. Immediately I knew I was in Serious trouble. My legs went all pins and needles and I couldn’t move them. It seemed like an age waiting on the emergency services to arrive, but it probably only took about half an hour. I was rushed straight to the Mater hospital where I underwent a five hour operation.

The next day, surrounded by very upset and concerned family members and my girlfriend Rachel, a doctor explained to me that I had sustained a double fractured broken back but More importantly inoperable damage had been done to my spinal cord. I was paralysed from the waist down and I might never walk again!!!

During the next two weeks in the Mater spinal ward, I was bed bound, you have all day for things to play on your mind, maybe I was in denial but paralysis long term never really crossed my mind. I have always been a very positive guy, I just presumed I was going to make a full recovery and be back on my feet in no time. A specialist from The National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) came to assess me and it was decided that I would be going there in a couple weeks to learn to be independant again.

I must admit before being a patient in the NRH I never even knew it existed, and wow what an amazing place it was…..I was surrounded by stroke patients, amputees, paraplegics, quadriplegics, tetraplegics(neck down) and brain injuries….there’s no feeling sorry for yourself there, there is always someone much worse off than you. All the staff from nurses, doctors, physiotherapists and occupational therapists do the most amazing job with one goal in mind, to get the patient back to being as independant and healthy as possible, they are inspirational.

I was still very sick when I arrived at the NRH, I just couldn’t stop vomiting, it was like my body just couldn’t adapt to being paralysed. Kildare won the Leinster final that week and Davey Dalton(Kilcock legend) brought a few of the players in to see me……that visit gave me great encouragement and belief, I stopped getting sick that day and was finally on the road to recovery.

Being put into a wheelchair for the first time, that was very traumatic !!! It was a strange and scary feeling, I think myself Rachel and the whole family cried for most of that day. A family therapist came to see us and I have to say it was one of the toughest days of my life.
I never looked back from that day on, I am a very positive person, I was ready to move forward, that was my only “bad” day.

After I had my back brace removed I worked very hard, learning how to dress myself again, to go to the toilet….building up strength in the physio department each day so that I could push about in the wheelchair…..i was determined to make the best of my situation. I even learned how to drive!!! Spinal Injuries Ireland (SII) set up a driving programme for patients, i signed up and on my first lesson i was out on the busy dublin roads, i nearly had a heart attack.
I had great fun with all the nurses, doctors and staff each day, they filled my days with fun divilment and laughter, you wouldn’t feel like you were in a hospital at all.
I got to meet some of the most amazing people, patients who were going through the exact same journey as me. The bonds that you make in hospital are very special, you are there for each other, you become almost family. I guess it’s a bit like War Vets, you have mutual respect for one another and maybe only people who have lived through such a life altering experience can truly understand the other. I’m glad to say I’m still in contact with a few of these very dear friends.

Apart from the amazing support I received during this time from Rachel and my family, I also was blessed with a super network of friends and a very warm community spirit of my home town Kilcock. Nobody once treated me any differently when i returned home in a wheelchair, this made my transition so much easier to just move on with my life and not dwell on the past.

Shortly after my release from NRH myself and Rachel went travelling for a few months,we saw the world, places like Australia and New Zealand, it was a truly amazing experience. Then we settled down, built a house and got married. We have been truly blessed with three amazing kids. I am a stay at home dad and I have to say I love it. It’s the most rewarding job in the world. My kids are everything to me.

“Alright I never got power or feeling back in my legs, but I did recover to have a powerful life”.

A part of me always felt like I owed something to those amazing people who looked after me when I was down and at my lowest. I recently found out that the NRH are building a new hospital and I think now is the time for me to stand up🙈 and help out, if ever funds were needed it’s now!!!!

Anyone who knows me knows I don’t do things in halves, if I’m gonna do a fundraiser I’m gonna take on something big…..what bigger than a mountain……

LET’S CLIMB CROAGH PATRICK !!!!!
♿⛰️💪💪💪

So once again, almost twenty two years later I’m asking for your help and support. I’m asking all of you guys to PLEASE DONATE via the link below 🙏

https://www.idonate.ie/LesterCassidy

ALSO PLEASE COME JOIN ME ON 18TH JULY I can’t do this without your help!!!

I’m going have a big party after the climb, in the Westport Coast Hotel, music, food and craic and I hope you can all make it.

The NRH amd SII made a massive impact on my life and nothing in life is promised, you never know if you or someone you love will need the help of this hospital someday. They are worth our support. So please, please donate, even something small.

Thanks for taking some time out and reading my story…… Please share it with all your family and friends 👍

“Live life to the fullest and focus on the positive”…. Be happy….Lester Cassidy.

https://www.idonate.ie/LesterCassidy

Please Donate 🙏

Player Profie: Tom Parsons

Club/County: Charlestown/Mayo.

Current position: Midfield X 💯

Any superstitions before a game?
Stretch my toes.

What is your greatest sports achievement? 2019 and returning to play for club & county.

Favourite Position (on the pitch)?Midfield

Favourite player/s growing up:
The legend McD and Liam McHale.

What or who made you want to play football: My Dad

Other sports you play or would love to play: Basketball & Handball

Best piece of advice received: Keep it simple.

Best peice of advice for up coming player: Surround yourself with good people, and use set-backs as a springboard.

What was the best sporting event you ever witnessed? Man United European Cup champs 1999, 2 late goals in stoppage time to end 31 year wait. Bring back the United of old

Where would you love to go on holiday?
Maldives when I win the lotto

Favourite month of the year and why?
December and the lead up to xmas

**** Teammates ****

Funniest teammate:
Rob Hennelly

Most skillful teammate:
Cillian O Connor

Fittest teammate:
Paddy Durcan

Player who spends most time in front of mirror: Evan Regan

Best Dresser: Tom Parsons

Worst Dresser: Donal Vaughan

Robert Cox’s GAA Weekend Treble

Robert Cox’s GAA Weekend Treble – July 13th & 14th

The Super 8s are finally here this weekend and apart from a few expected one-sided and dead rubber games over the course of the next month, we can now actually start to look forward to some close encounters and high quality football.

All eight teams are in action over the course of this Saturday and Sunday and I have taken a look at three of the games, opting to leave the Donegal v Meath game well alone!!

 

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ROSCOMMON v TYRONE

Tyrone -2

First up is the meeting of Connacht Champions Roscommon and perennial qualifier experts Tyrone at 5pm in Dr. Hyde Park at 5pm on Saturday evening. Once again I expect Mickey Harte’s men to come away with a relatively comfortable victory. Ever since their disappointing Ulster semi final loss to Donegal, the Red-Hand men, lead by their instrumental full forward Cathal McShane have racked up routine wins away to Longford and Kildare and against Cavan in Clones. The Cavan win was particularly impressive, given its margin, 16 points in the end. In McShane and Harte they have two of the best players in the country at the minute but they are more than just a two man team, as the Rossies will find out to their detriment come Saturday evening.

In fairness to Roscommon they do garner some respect given their exploits in the west, beating both Mayo and Galway enroute to claiming the Nestor cup but one fears that could be the highlight of their year. They have quality in their ranks in the shape of Conor Cox, Enda Smith and Diarmuid Murtagh but the month off since their success might leave them a bit rusty. In comparison Tyrone are flying, with three games on the spin of late. The sides met at the same stage last year, with Tyrone coming out easy winners on a scoreline of 4-24 to 2-12.

I expect a repeat of this, but not to the extent of 12 months ago so Tyrone -2 is my pick here.

 

DUBLIN v CORK

Dublin -8

It’s the clash of the two big cities at Croke Park on Saturday night at 7pm as Dublin take their next step in their quest for five in a row and I expect them to come through this one with some ease, without probably even needing to get out of the 2nd or 3rd gear in the process.

To reach this stage Ronan McGrath’s Cork side have only had to negotiate facile wins over Limerick and Laois and though they have been free scoring in both them ties and in their Munster final loss to Kerry, this will be a completely new challenge for them. They have improved somewhat since their poor league form seen them relegated to Division 3 of the league but unfortunately for them it won’t be enough to even come close to the Dubs on the wide open expanses of HQ. The Rebels have found the net 10 times in their 3 Championship games, thanks mainly to their top marksmen Brian Hurley and Mark Collins. Add to that the hard working and skilful Ruairí Deane on the half forward line and they will cause Dublin some problems by running at them. But only early on before the juggernaut takes over.

Dublin’s season only really gets going at this stage, having easily negotiated their way to their 9th Leinster title in 10 years, culminating in a final rout of neighbours Meath. Cormac Costello has been their main man in attack but they ooze strength all over the pitch. He is ably assisted upfront by Paul Mannion and Ciaran Kilkenny and the scoring return to action of Dean Rock v Meath makes for ominous viewing for the rest. Brian Fenton is still the best midfielder in the country and they don’t give up too much at the back either. Jim Gavin knows tougher ties lie ahead in the shape of Donegal and maybe a Tyrone or a Kerry but this is a nice tie for his side to ease themselves into the Super 8s.

Cork may live with the Dubs for a while but my selection of Dublin -8 looks a shoe in.

 

KERRY v MAYO

BTTS A Goal

 The last game of the weekend is surely the most mouth watering of the lot as Kerry play host to Mayo at 4pm at Fitzgerald Stadium. As when Mayo played Armagh a couple of weeks ago, I find the outcome of this one too hard to call, so like that evening I have gone for both teams to score a goal. One thing is for sure when Mayo are around you are always guaranteed plenty of action and drama and with two high class forward lines on display, I feel this Sunday will be no different, so expect the net to be rattled on a few occasions!

Kerry come into the Super 8s as Munster Champions having laboured to victories over Clare and Cork. Despite the talent at their disposal, Peter Keane’s side are yet to set their 2019 campaign alight and after their domination at minor level in recent years the people of the Kingdom expect. They do have serious firepower in attack and will look to star David Clifford to shin the Super 8s, where he shot to prominence in 2018. If they are to reverse their league final defeat at the hands of Sunday’s opponents they will look to Sean O’Shea, David Moran and Clifford to shine.

Mayo for their part are gathering pace. After a disappointing Connacht semi final loss at home to Roscommon, James Horan’s men have bounced back with wins against Down, Armagh and more impressively against Galway last weekend. In James Carr they have a very exciting prospect, with the wing forward banging in two goals in the Galway victory. Despite been plagued by injuries throughout 2019 and recently losing Captain Diarmuid O’Connor, Mayo still have a strong panel to pick from. Paddy Durcan and Donal Vuaghan are in fine form and if Cillian O’Connor and Aidan O’Shea perform to their abilities they may well leave Killarney with a famous win.

Still, this one is too hard to call so my selection of both teams to score a goal in what promises to be a good open game of football looks the best bet in this one.

Tyrone -2,   Dublin -8   &   Kerry v Mayo BTTS A Goal 

 

Former Mayo footballer to take charge of Clane

It is rumoured that Clane Gaa are set to appoint former Mayo footballer David Brady as the new manager of their senior footballers.

If Brady does take over he will have a decent crop of youngsters to work with, as the club were only recently crowned minor football champions. In addition to that the u21 footballers have a championship semi final to look forward to this weekend against Sarsfields.

More to follow……….