Fundraisers near a £40k target to help Paddy battle Motor Neurone Disease

LOCAL people have pulled out all the stops to help raise almost £40,000 for a Toome man with Motor Neurone Disease.

A tractor run last weekend raised an amazing four figure sum alone and £23,000 was donated to an online platform in just four days.

Paddy Devlin’s close pal Noel McKillen explained on the Go Fund Me website: “I have been Paddy's friend for over 40 years.

“He is the most fun loving guy to be around.

“We share the same passion for music, sport, socialising, and have enjoyed numerous adventures together, along with many other friends.

“From when Paddy was a boy, he never shied from hard work. He spent long hours working on a farm. As well as being a hard worker, he was a proud footballer for his local GAA club, Cargin.

“Some years later, Paddy married and was gifted with four beautiful children who mean the world to him.

“Paddy is well known for being a talented musician and singer, a knowledgeable historian and a natural story-teller. He is a free-spirit who travelled the length and breadth of the country attending music events and everyone who met him fell for his warmth, charm and wit.

“Sadly, in October last year at the age of 59, Paddy was diagnosed with incurable motor neurone disease and tragically this is robbing him of all his skills.

“Paddy has deteriorated rapidly over the past year. He is now confined to a wheelchair and has lost the power in his legs, feet and arms.

“At present he has minimal power in a few fingers and is still able to talk and swallow. I don’t know how long Paddy has left with this horrible illness, but what I do know is that he has no means of transport that he so desperately requires.

“Paddy is also not receiving the 24 hour care that he needs from our health services because they are under immense pressure and so he has just been added to a long waiting list.

“Unfortunately, due to Paddy receiving no care he is having to depend on family and friends to call when they can in between their full-time jobs and their own personal lives. This is becoming more difficult for Paddy because of the high level care he so badly needs.

“I have set up this page to fundraise for a second hand vehicle with wheelchair access and a ramp.

“This will allow Paddy’s family and friends to take him to appointments and to spend quality time with him going to places he would like to see while he still can.

“Any remaining money raised will go towards getting Paddy the nursing care, support, and any other additional needs to make Paddy's life as comfortable as possible at home.

“Paddy is not only a great friend of mine he is also a son, brother, father, grandfather and always the life and soul of a party.

“At the minute Paddy lives with his 98 year old father and his loyal dog, Diesel. No matter how small, any donation will be greatly appreciated.”

Paddy has already taken ownership of a new vehicle and local tradespeople have been helping to make adjustments to his home to enable him to live more comfortably.

Paddy’s son Odhran arrived home from Australia to support the tractor run.

For more information and pictures, turn to page 43.

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