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Fundraiser to be held in Vancouver as bid to get critically-ill Irishman home nears target

Ciarán Kelly went into cardiac arrest on St Patrick’s Day, and was left with severe brain damage.

THE BID TO provide the necessary funds to get a critically-ill Irishman home is now over halfway towards its target of €100,000.

Today, a fundraiser is set to take place, organised by the Irish community in Vancouver to support efforts to get Ciarán Kelly home.

Ciarán Kelly, from Bray, Wicklow, suffered a cardiac arrest on St Patrick’s Day. Due to oxygen deprivation brought on by the heart attack, Ciaran was left with severe brain damage.

His family flew out to his bedside but it is costing $15,000 a day just to keep him in hospital.

The family is looking for €100,000 to bring Ciaran back to Ireland so he can continue his recovery at home, and set up a GoFundMe page to try and raise the necessary funds.

At the time of writing, €59,130 had been raised towards that goal.

John Griffin, who has helped to organise today’s event at Johnnie Fox’s Irish Snug on Granville Street in Vancouver, said that it is hoped the fundraiser will “put a sizeable dent” in the remaining €40,000.

A number of items have been donated that will be raffled off at the event, which will also feature live music from 3pm local time (11pm Irish time).

Griffin said that the close-knit Irish community in the Canadian city had rallied together at short notice to participate in the event.

“It promises to be a showcase,” he said, “of the best Irish traits of togetherness, solidarity and the motto “look after your own”, which applies all the way out here in Vancouver”.

The statement from the Kelly family on their GoFundMe page said: “We cannot express the urgency of this situation at this horrendous time. From the bottom of our hearts we thank you for any donation you can contribute as it will bring us one step closer to bringing Ciaran home.”

Read: ‘It feels so cruel’: Family of critically ill Irish man plead for donations to bring him home

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Sean Murray

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