Donegal man in coma in Australia woke on 21st birthday

Shauna Dunworth had fallen from Sydney’s Harbour Bridge in July

Shaun Dunworth  underwent surgery on his pelvis and face. Photograph: Gofundme

Shaun Dunworth underwent surgery on his pelvis and face. Photograph: Gofundme

 

A young Donegal man who fell from a bridge in Australia a month ago awoke from a coma on his 21st birthday, his family have said.

Shaun Dunworth was rushed to St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney on July 29th with major trauma and brain injuries after falling from the Harbour Bridge onto a concrete underpath.

He underwent surgery on his pelvis and face and his parents Stevan and Karen Dunworth travelled 11,700kms from their home village of Ramelton, north of Letterkenny, to be by his bedside.

While he was in a coma his family helped nurses decorate his hospital room for his 21st birthday, on Monday. Afterwards, he opened his eyes and spoke to his parents. And in the past 24 hours, he has been taken off life support and is out of intensive care.

The young Donegal man must now undergo MRI scans.

However, his family say he is well aware of his surroundings and his responses have been very positive and they are all very hopeful for his future progress and return home.

In Ramelton, as news filtered back of Mr Dunworth’s progress, goodwill messages flooded into the family home wishing him a speedy recovery.

Shaun’s aunt, Geraldine Magee said the family circle is overwhelmed with the good news and while there is a long road to recovery, they are thankful that Shaun is now making good progress.

Ms Magee said his first words upon seeing his parents were “Mum and Dad, I love you”.

She said: “We’re all just hoping and praying for Shaun. He has a long road to go but the fact that he has awoken and is speaking is very positive.”

She said his parents have been by his side “from as soon as they could get out there and they have been just willing him to get better”.

“For them to hear him speak and to tell them that he loved them is beyond their wildest dreams,” she said.

“We would like to thank everybody who has done anything in any way for Shaun. He is a lovely lad and everyone feared the worst for him. But hopefully this is now the start of his recovery process.”

Mr Dunworth, who was in Australia since January, had worked in construction.

The village of Ramelton has rallied round in support of the family and a congregation of six hundred attended a Mass of Solidarity in St Mary’s Church with celebrants Fr Michael Carney and Fr Des Sweeney.

A Go Fund Me page, to help support Mr Dunworth and his family, has so far raised more than €55,000. Fundraising events to come include an “all-star” dance next Monday at the Silver Tassie Hotel, Letterkenny.