Andrew Walker Rehabilitation Fund

Update posted by Brendan Taaffe On Sep 11, 2018


Hi all,

Just to give everyone an update on Andrew’s progress, the news from Gran Canaria is very good. Day by day he is improving and his strength is growing. For the first few weeks out of hospital Andrew was convalescing in a small ground floor apartment near the beach, owned by Maria’s family. Every day he would walk further and further on the beach and later he began to take those walks in the sea, walking the length of the beach up to his waist. Up to September he continued to have weekly hospital visits. In conjunction with the hospital physio and a private rehab specialist, he has been working hard to open up his chest as the ribs slowly heal, as well as strengthening the shoulders which were badly damaged. He now reports very little pain and has recently moved back to his own third floor apartment now that he can manage the stairs. It’s pretty impressive to see how Andrew has approached his recovery. His day is broken up into structured blocks of meditation, breathing, food preparation, exercise, stretching and rehab work.

Three weeks ago Andrew found out about this campaign. He had been worried about money and expenses and Maria finally told him. Needless to say, initially he was quite mortified and I was sent a few choice words! However, he came round very quickly as he read the comments, and having had a few weeks to digest the generosity and people’s genuine concern for his wellbeing, he has asked me to include these few words in what will be the last update.


''Hello, Andrew here.

Thank you...every one of you. From the first hours of regaining consciousness after the accident, I have known with unflinching certainty that one of the reasons I pulled through and was able to begin healing so quick, was because of the energy I was receiving from people all over the world.

Benny Taaffe, my brother and best friend, created a medium for healing and help here, and myself, Maria and our two children, Danam and Jane, will be forever grateful for all your help and inspiring messages.

I didn't know about the campaign until two weeks ago. This is a message of love and appreciation that should have gone out well before now. You read and hear about amazing responses from people all the time, and this continually strengthens our faith in the power of the human body. Every night I give thanks to many in my prayers, including everyone of you here, and to everyone who has simply thought of me in a positive light and who have sent their feelings and healing energy from their hearts. You are and will forever be part of the reason I celebrate life even more than before, and a driving force to be a better father, partner and contributor to continuing healing on this beautiful earth of ours.

Saying thank you here is just a start. I know I will reignite old friendships, begin new friendships, and hopefully begin a correspondence with some of you via email, post and in person, to be able to share our experiences of living and hurting and believing and being on this great journey together here.

Love and light to all of you and your families.''


The initial target figure for this campaign was a guestimate reached while Andrew was still in a coma and the medical team had no real idea as to how long he would be completely out of action. The surgeon had suggested it would be a minimum of 8 months to a year before he would be able to work, if indeed it would happen at all. But Andy’s progress has astonished everyone and is a testament to his determination and focus. He is now hopeful that he might be able to return to work before Christmas. He and Maria feel that what the campaign has raised to date is sufficient to cover their expenses and the rehab costs. Initially this was an open-ended campaign but I will now schedule it to close next Monday, 17th September. Thank you all so much, the response has been phenomenal from the athletics community of Ireland as well as from his larger circle of friends and family. You have made a huge difference to the stress levels, particularly for Maria in this very difficult time. I am so happy that this is a good news story and may we have many more years of Andrew’s sometimes annoyingly positive attitude to inspire us.



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Update posted by Brendan Taaffe On Jul 17, 2018

From the beginning of last week Andrew showed an encouraging daily improvement. The bruising on his heart and lungs has begun to recede and the spleen is recovering well from the surgeries to mend multiple lacerations. By the end of the week he had even managed to stand up with minimal assistance and had taken his first few steps in his hospital room. Although he was in a lot of pain, he was upbeat and positive in his mood and attitude. However, on Friday he woke up in an abnormal amount of pain and was bloated and vomiting. A scan revealed a twist in the upper intestine, and it was initially thought a further surgery would be required. The medical team put a tube into his stomach and withdrew 2 litres of stomach contents, which gave the kink a chance to naturally right itself. Having been bed-ridden the past three days, the tube came out last night and he is back to his positive self. Andrew's good friend, renowned sports therapist Paul Gallagher, went out to Gran Canaria for 5 days to help with his immediate mobility issues, to begin the task of assessing the extent of his injuries and to come up with a rehab plan and timetable. This is Paul's take on the situation...

"The time spent with Andrew in Gran Canaria was important in assessing the situation and to also formulate a plan for Andrew to make the best recovery possible. At the risk of sounding cliched, anyone that knows the man, knows he will make a recovery that will amaze and inspire many.

The first 2 days of my stay were extremely tough for Andrew as his pain levels were very high, any slight movement could cause severe pain and his body would go into a protective spasm. Of course, due to the extensive rib injuries, trying to breath to ease the pain was also difficult as you can imagine...pain medication is far from Andrew's go to "treatment" for pain, but in this case it was extremely helpful.
As difficult as things were, we did manage to come up with a few modifications to moving in the bed to get comfortable and getting in and out of bed.

It was a relief to know the internal organs were healing and function was returning to normal, but looking at the X Rays clearly revealed the extent of the injuries sustained by the skeletal system.
Andrew's right side has been worst affected by the accident, has serious rib fractures from the 2nd rib to the 8th rib and his Acromioclavicular joint has a separation of 1.6cm. The injuries to the left side, in comparison to the right, are not as bad but still has rib fractures from the 4th rib to the 8th rib. We would all love to say the standard 6 week recovery for a rib fracture applies here but the medical team in Gran Canaria are talking months in this case :( All of this is affecting his breathing mechanics, his posture and how he moves, but again, at this early stage of recovery it is to be expected.

There is no doubt Andrew has a long and difficult journey ahead, will encounter unexpected challenges along the way and will need a lot of treatment/therapy/rehab to get to where we all know he wants to go... the World Masters baby, though I feel Toronto 2020 may be a little ambitious given the injuries. But hey, it is Andrew Walker so you never know!! "

Pending the results of a few more tests and scans, the medical team feel confident that Andrew could be moved to his home environment towards the end of the week, where measures have been taken to ensure he will have the equipment and facilities he needs. We are all humbled by the response to this campaign and Maria has again asked me to reiterate her profound gratitude for the donations and comments. Andrew's medical team have been phenomenal throughout this ordeal and are hugely impressed with the rate of his progress. The hard work will begin in a few weeks when his ribs have begun to heal and the rehab can start in earnest. Thank you all so much, and for those who have been in contact with ideas for fundraising events, we'll be in touch soon. One love 💚

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That’s the Andy we know, not a quitter, and we know he will shock and amaze us with his recovery. Andy, Maria, Danam, Jane and all the family, your are in our thoughts and prayers always x

Mary Howe

Update posted by Jul 18

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Update posted by Brendan Taaffe On Jul 06, 2018

Late yesterday he was moved from the high dependency unit to an observation or stepdown room.He is lucid and awake and able for short bouts of conversation and he was in buoyant form last night. Today though, the full extent of the task ahead is dawning on him and he is in intense discomfort as the medical team slowly reduce the pain medication.He is concentrating intensely when the rough patches hit,and although the doctors are very impressed with his recovery rate to date, they are at pains to explain that there will be highs and lows in the coming days and the discomfort may well increase before it begins to improve..

Maria is overwhelmed by the support to date and wants to express her eternal gratitude for all the donations and messages of love and solidarity she is receiving. From Andrews family and friends, I would like to humbly thank you all for your generosity.When his strength improves we will tell Andrew about the campaign, but for now we fear the emotional response he will undoubtedly feel,might unduly stress him and detract from his focus .. thank you all ..So far we are already at 25% of the target in less than two days.Amazing stuff from his athletics family and his wider network of friends.. One love. 💚

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❤ love from home bro

Kevin Walker

Update posted by Jul 07

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Thanks a million for the update!!!

Helen Corbett

Update posted by Jul 06

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Sannie Cudzer

Backed with €10.00 On Sep 17, 2018

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Really glad to see you on the mend. It’s been a long time but I’ve great memories of getting my ass handed to me by you and your brother back in the day!!! Get well soon 👍

Brendan Carrigan

Backed with €20.00 On Sep 14, 2018

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Una Donnelly

Backed with €20.00 On Sep 14, 2018

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Kenny Curran

Backed with €50.00 On Sep 13, 2018

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As Andrew would say, "There is no way but way" and that is exactly what he has done from the first moments of consciousness. He is now reaping the rewards...by making a recovery not many would be capable of...amazing stuff Brother :) The pictures posted on September the 11th of Andrew training in the sunshine was a perfect birthday present for me! Keep it going my man. Best wises from the Gallagher clan from Dun na nGall :)

Paul Gallagher

Backed On Sep 13, 2018 Amount Hidden

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Tom Conlon

Backed with €20.00 On Sep 13, 2018

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Hi Andrew It’s great to see you have turned the corner and on the road to recovery. I wish you all the best and your journey back to full fitness. The last time we met was at Donore and I always appreciated your advice and feedback when you were there with us along with Downsey. Take care, John D

John Dunne

Backed with €50.00 On Sep 11, 2018

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Super news to hear how well Andrew is recovering, but never doubted him, knew with his focused mind he would get back on his feet in no time. This small donation is from car boot sales that we did to try help towards medical costs or whatever was needed. Here to help our true friend, as he would do for us!

Mary Howe

Backed with €125.00 On Sep 11, 2018

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Peter Eustace

Backed with €40.00 On Aug 30, 2018

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Best of luck on your recovery Andrew... The McNally Family

darren mcnally

Backed with €100.00 On Aug 29, 2018

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