Pádraig is doing well. Except for 30 minutes today, when I got onto the super-dooper all singing and dancing Vojta therapy table under the watchful eye of his physio to learn how to do exercises with Pádraig a metre off the ground. The exercises are, of course, designed to help Pádraig get a better orientation, regain a good feeling of his body, and keep him flexible. At the end of those thirty minutes I thought that there was an immediate need for me to do a bit of work on my own body!
We are still thinking all the time of the J1ers in Berkeley. It is great to see that the movement of solidarity with the victims of the Berkeley tragedy and their families continues. According to berkeleyside.com, a relief fund set up by the Irish Immigration Pastoral Center to help the immediate needs of the families and students in Berkeley, the Irish J1 Berkeley Tragedy Fund, has raised more than $100,000 in two days, on a goal of half that.
For the families affected, it will still feel like as if they were just living a really bad nightmare. When they wake up they will hope that what seems reality might just go away. That is if they sleep at all. The more of the logistics can be managed for them by others, the better. And I hope that whatever needs to be done to help them will be done. I remember in horror the ten days and nights it took for Pádraig’s J1 Insurance Company to be persuaded to pay for his hospital treatment and repatriation. There were days when we thought that, in addition to Pádraig, we might also loose our home.
What is transpiring from the building and the contractor that put it up is astonishing. It sounds like something from the third world. No doubt, the next question will be who was responsible for allowing this to happen. And no doubt, each of the players will pass on the buck, as the US-Americans say.
Tomorrow morning, Pat will go to Dublin to attend Sara’s funeral. Her parents, sister, and the rest of the family are going to the worst of times. Having fought for years for their daughter and sister to get the treatment she deserved, having pleaded with doctors, health officials, airing her frustration on the public airwaves, Sara died in St Francis Hospice in Blanchardstown, in what must be one, if not the most beautiful, the best equipped, and most professionally run caring facility in the country. It is not run by the HSE and it is free. Above all, there is none, absolutely no return on investment whatsoever into the care of the clients there – except their love and dignity.
They are, no doubt, dreamboaters.
It’s a one of the tragedies of today’s Ireland that you only get to know them when you are about to die.