The smile of hope

Sean Connolly, who suffered a mysterious collapse in India, is making progress after family and friends raised £100,000 to bring him home

Sean Connolly, who suffered a mysterious collapse in India, is making progress after family and friends raised £100,000 to bring him home

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SEAN Connolly, who mysteriously collapsed and fell ill while travelling in India in 2012, is smiling for the first time after a year of rehabilitation.

His family are now pushing to get him the very best treatment, and sister Kara, 23, along with friends Chanel Crewe, 24, and Abi Curtin, 23, are taking on an overnight bike ride from London to Brighton on July 12 to pay for private physiotherapy.

Sean, 27, who grew up in Liden before moving to London, suffered brain injuries while in India in circumstances which are still unexplained and his family needed money to fly him home as he had no travel insurance.

He returned to the UK following a huge online fundraising campaign to raise up to £100,000 gathered support from 23,000 Facebook members.

He has since had treatment at Great Western Hospital in Swindon and Bristol’s Frenchay hospital before being taken for specialist care at Glenside Hospital for Neurological Rehabilitation, Salisbury, last year.

Kara said recent improvements in Sean’s condition have filled the family with hope – he has smiled and responded to music, including the songs Summertime by Jamie Jones, Sing It Back by Moloko and Coma Cat by Tensnake.

“Everybody has got hope,” Kara said. “He is a fighter.

“About two weeks ago he started smiling, which is absolutely amazing. That is quite a massive improvement to how he has been so far. It seems like such a small thing to some people but really it is huge.

“It is difficult for us to see how much he is improving because we see him every day, but other people who go to visit him say there is a massive improvement. A lot of the staff there are saying he is improving a lot, so if everybody else can see it as well there is something going on.”

Kara now wants Sean to have a one-to-one carer on a daily basis to ensure no opportunity for treatment is missed.

“The whole point is to get him moving as much as possible, because obviously the NHS can only do simple things. We believe there is more effective care he could be benefitting from. Treatments all vary depending on how different people work.

“Glenside do physiotherapy but the whole point of private care is to get a more structured approach and more full on to really get the best of it. Glenside have been amazing, and what they have done for him already is just brilliant. He has got his own care, a nurse and a healthcare assistant.”

“Even when I go there and move him around a bit he seems to really enjoy it.”

The trio will be pounding the pedals by night on July 12 and aim to arrive in Brighton first thing the following morning.

“We haven’t really set a goal for the amount we want to raise because we are still in the process of talking things through with his physiotherapists,” said Kara Chanel is joining the ride as a family friend. “I have known the family for a long time, so if there is anything I can do for them I am going to do it,” she said. “The more people we get the more sponsors and more help for Sean. I used to have a bit of a crush on him too.”

Comments (4)

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1:24pm Fri 30 May 14

swindonurock says...

Good luck to Sean with his continued recovery; I hope that he gets the best treatment available.

However, I never quite understand the point of doing things like sponsored bike rides and sponsored runs, etc, etc ... If it's a good cause then people will donate anyway, but if you're going to put effort into doing something (such as a run) just to raise money, then why not put the effort into doing something useful instead, such as picking up litter, or tidying OAP's gardens, or similar.

Raising money for Sean is obviously a great cause, but I'd imagine they'd raise much more money by doing something useful for the community rather than just wasting time cycling from A to B.
Good luck to Sean with his continued recovery; I hope that he gets the best treatment available. However, I never quite understand the point of doing things like sponsored bike rides and sponsored runs, etc, etc ... If it's a good cause then people will donate anyway, but if you're going to put effort into doing something (such as a run) just to raise money, then why not put the effort into doing something useful instead, such as picking up litter, or tidying OAP's gardens, or similar. Raising money for Sean is obviously a great cause, but I'd imagine they'd raise much more money by doing something useful for the community rather than just wasting time cycling from A to B. swindonurock
  • Score: 10

8:10pm Fri 30 May 14

locationS says...

The point is Sean little sister loves her big brother unconditionally and will do anything to try and help him. What is so hard to understand? You go girl and while on your bike riding in the dark in the name of your brother be proud of your big heart x
The point is Sean little sister loves her big brother unconditionally and will do anything to try and help him. What is so hard to understand? You go girl and while on your bike riding in the dark in the name of your brother be proud of your big heart x locationS
  • Score: 3

8:32pm Fri 30 May 14

swindonurock says...

locationS wrote:
The point is Sean little sister loves her big brother unconditionally and will do anything to try and help him. What is so hard to understand? You go girl and while on your bike riding in the dark in the name of your brother be proud of your big heart x
There's nothing "wrong" with doing sponsored bike rides or sponsored walks, or whatever, and it's great people raise money for worthy causes.

However, the fact is that such events don't really contribute anything in their own right to the community or humanity; one might as well ask people for money to stand on one's head for a few hours. What does it achieve?

How much better would it be, instead, for people to ask for sponsorship to clean graffiti from walls, or pick up litter in a park, or tend some gardens for those unable to do it themselves, etc. Making such a positive contribution to the community achieves something, and is valuable, unlike a sponsored walk, or whatever, that really achieves nothing at all.

While Sean's cause is obviously well worth contributing to in any case, I'd imagine that many more people would be willing to contribute if they knew there was a beneficial task being performed by those being sponsored.

Regardless, I wish those doing the bike-ride every success, and hope they raise the money they wish to.
[quote][p][bold]locationS[/bold] wrote: The point is Sean little sister loves her big brother unconditionally and will do anything to try and help him. What is so hard to understand? You go girl and while on your bike riding in the dark in the name of your brother be proud of your big heart x[/p][/quote]There's nothing "wrong" with doing sponsored bike rides or sponsored walks, or whatever, and it's great people raise money for worthy causes. However, the fact is that such events don't really contribute anything in their own right to the community or humanity; one might as well ask people for money to stand on one's head for a few hours. What does it achieve? How much better would it be, instead, for people to ask for sponsorship to clean graffiti from walls, or pick up litter in a park, or tend some gardens for those unable to do it themselves, etc. Making such a positive contribution to the community achieves something, and is valuable, unlike a sponsored walk, or whatever, that really achieves nothing at all. While Sean's cause is obviously well worth contributing to in any case, I'd imagine that many more people would be willing to contribute if they knew there was a beneficial task being performed by those being sponsored. Regardless, I wish those doing the bike-ride every success, and hope they raise the money they wish to. swindonurock
  • Score: 8

8:55am Sat 31 May 14

Phantom Poster says...

swindonurock wrote:
locationS wrote:
The point is Sean little sister loves her big brother unconditionally and will do anything to try and help him. What is so hard to understand? You go girl and while on your bike riding in the dark in the name of your brother be proud of your big heart x
There's nothing "wrong" with doing sponsored bike rides or sponsored walks, or whatever, and it's great people raise money for worthy causes.

However, the fact is that such events don't really contribute anything in their own right to the community or humanity; one might as well ask people for money to stand on one's head for a few hours. What does it achieve?

How much better would it be, instead, for people to ask for sponsorship to clean graffiti from walls, or pick up litter in a park, or tend some gardens for those unable to do it themselves, etc. Making such a positive contribution to the community achieves something, and is valuable, unlike a sponsored walk, or whatever, that really achieves nothing at all.

While Sean's cause is obviously well worth contributing to in any case, I'd imagine that many more people would be willing to contribute if they knew there was a beneficial task being performed by those being sponsored.

Regardless, I wish those doing the bike-ride every success, and hope they raise the money they wish to.
Why is cycling from A to B a waste of time? For the perspective of the person who is doing it, it's a personal physical challenge which also helps a charity - so there are two winners.

They probably wouldn't find picking up litter or tidying OAPs gardens very interesting. It's their choice, how they motivate themselves and pick an objective with a clearly defined target for maximum contributions.

So have YOU done a sponsored event which involved something which helps the community? What was it and how much did it raise?
[quote][p][bold]swindonurock[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]locationS[/bold] wrote: The point is Sean little sister loves her big brother unconditionally and will do anything to try and help him. What is so hard to understand? You go girl and while on your bike riding in the dark in the name of your brother be proud of your big heart x[/p][/quote]There's nothing "wrong" with doing sponsored bike rides or sponsored walks, or whatever, and it's great people raise money for worthy causes. However, the fact is that such events don't really contribute anything in their own right to the community or humanity; one might as well ask people for money to stand on one's head for a few hours. What does it achieve? How much better would it be, instead, for people to ask for sponsorship to clean graffiti from walls, or pick up litter in a park, or tend some gardens for those unable to do it themselves, etc. Making such a positive contribution to the community achieves something, and is valuable, unlike a sponsored walk, or whatever, that really achieves nothing at all. While Sean's cause is obviously well worth contributing to in any case, I'd imagine that many more people would be willing to contribute if they knew there was a beneficial task being performed by those being sponsored. Regardless, I wish those doing the bike-ride every success, and hope they raise the money they wish to.[/p][/quote]Why is cycling from A to B a waste of time? For the perspective of the person who is doing it, it's a personal physical challenge which also helps a charity - so there are two winners. They probably wouldn't find picking up litter or tidying OAPs gardens very interesting. It's their choice, how they motivate themselves and pick an objective with a clearly defined target for maximum contributions. So have YOU done a sponsored event which involved something which helps the community? What was it and how much did it raise? Phantom Poster
  • Score: -1

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