Irish man faces months of recovery after being hit by NYC subway car

More than €100,000 so far raised by campaign to cover prosthetics and medical costs

An Irish man living in New York City is facing months of recovery having lost both lower legs after falling in front of an oncoming subway car.

David Cassidy (33) was on his way home to his Queens apartment one morning in early December when he stumbled and fell on to the track.

Despite the reaction of commuters and nearby police officers, he could not be rescued before the arrival of the train.

The native of Clones, Co Monaghan, was taken to a specialist trauma facility – Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan – where medics were able to save most of his legs, but both were eventually amputated below the knee.


David’s older brother Niall Cassidy, who travelled with parents Seamus and Kitty to be by his bedside over Christmas, has set up a GoFundMe web page to raise money for medical and other costs, not all of which will be covered by insurance.

He told The Irish Times that despite a recent infection set back, his brother is doing well and has maintained a positive attitude towards his recovery.

“To be honest it’s a miracle that these are the only real injuries he sustained,” he said. “He also has two fractured fingers. We are counting ourselves lucky that we didn’t lose him.”

Mr Cassidy moved to the US in 2013 and has been working as a project manager for a construction company.

“He loves New York and he wants to stay there,” said his brother . “When this happened our thoughts were [that] he will have to come home but he couldn’t countenance that. A lot of the challenge he will have in the next year will be mental as much as physical.”


Doctors believe that despite the trauma, Mr Cassidy could be well enough to return to work as early as March. He will initially require a wheelchair before further healing and eventual prosthetics.

Niall Cassidy explained that the cost of prosthetics – which can run to tens of thousands of dollars and require changes – as well as other unknown expenses associated with his change in lifestyle would need financing. The GoFundMe page has already reached $121,000 (€106,000), almost half of the $250,000 target, in a matter of days.

“The response has been unbelievable... people that you might not have spoken to in years have been so generous,” he said. “We just want to make sure that it’s as easy as possible for him.”

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times