Shane Prendergast is presented with a cheque for the money raised by the benefit night held by the Hilltop Bar in Ballymurphy PICTURE: PAT MOORE
An amateur jockey who was seriously injured at a point to point race in June is making a great recovery and hopes to get back in the saddle over the coming months.
Shane Prendergast (19) from Skeoughvosteen was in an induced coma for over a week, broke two vertebrae and his sternum and sustained a bleed to his brain following the fall.
He was airlifted to Tullamore General Hospital where he spent nine weeks and also attended the Mater Hospital in Dublin for treatment.
After waking from the coma Shane was paralysed down his right side but was always confident that he would be okay.
Fortunately he has regained both strength and movement in his right side although it is still 'a bit slower' and he is hopeful to 'ride out' again over the coming months.
“I am going to the Mater Hospital this week and hopefully the brace will be coming off soon.
“When I woke up and there was no movement on the right side I always thought I will come out of this. I always had it in head that this won't be a disaster - that if I give it time and work and do the physio and the exercises it will be fine.
“I have put a lot of work in and it will take another five or six months but I will get there,” he said.
Meanwhile the young jockey has received great support from his family, friends and the local community who have raised almost €18,000 to help cover the costs of his recovery.
“I am very appreciative of all that people have done for me. I want to thank Jim Cleere of Cleeres Bar in Gowran. John Glendon in The V Bar in The Royal Oak and Belinda O'Brien Mara of The Hilltop in Ballymurphy for all the fundraising and to all those who donated raffle prizes and my family and friends who have been a great asset to me through all this.
“It will be another few months but I will go back riding out horses. I can't wait to go back doing it, it is what I love doing best.” he said.