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Dublin: 13°C Thursday 17 June 2021

50 friends raise €32,000 during swim challenge for friend in a coma

Pádraig Schaler has been in a coma since last summer, and is receiving treatment in Germany.

image Pádraig Schaler

FIFTY FRIENDS OF Pádraig Schaler gathered at the weekend for a big challenge in aid of their “loyal and fun” friend who is in a coma.

Schaler, who is 23, is in rehabilitative neurological care in Germany after being knocked off his bike by a truck while on a J1 visa visit to Cape Cod last summer.

6 Port Stuart

His friends have held a number of fundraising events, and the latest one was quite a physical challenge.

On Saturday morning, 12 April, the group began the first of their swims around 17 counties, kicking off the Swim for Pádraig challenge in Balbriggan, County Dublin.

3. Cé Gyles, Co. an Lú

From there, they travelled right around the coast of Ireland., finishing with a moonlit swim on the Bray seafront on Sunday night.

Their challenge of swimming in every coastal county in the country helped raise €32,000 for Schaler’s family.

2. Baile an Bhiataigh

Schaler’s parents – Reinhard Schaler and Pat O’Byrne – have been travelling to Germany regularly to be with their son, who is getting treatment over there.

Event organiser, Aodhán Ó Deá, said:

’Snámh Phádraig’ was incredible. All involved, both those participating and all who have donated to the event are due huge credit and thanks. The support has been overwhelming, from bystanders around the country who had their weekend’s stroll disturbed by 50 mad swimmers to the Mammies baking buns for us as we shivered on the bus travelling from county to county – the atmosphere was electric and a true testament to Pádraig and his spirit.

The money raised through sponsorship will go to Caring for Pádraig, a special fund that has been set up to support the many costs of Pádraig’s care.

Pádraig had just completed his undergraduate studies in Trinity College Dublin, where he was studying Irish and History, when he went on the J1 trip.

dearglefearg Béal Feirste

As he was a talented swimmer and passionate gaeilgeoir, the event was held in both English and Irish.

Ó Deá said that the event was “the perfect way to honour him”.

Donations can be still be made to the event by clicking here.

You can learn more about Pádraig at www.caringforpadraig.org. Pádraig’s father, Reinhard Schäler also writes a blog at www.hospi-tales.com.

17. Bré a

All photos courtesy of Aodhán Ó Deá

Read: “It’s agony”: Pádraig is in a coma – his family say Ireland’s healthcare system has failed him>

Read: 50 friends swim in 17 counties over 38 hours for “loyal and fun” friend in a coma>

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