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horror injuries Sligo pensioner Tom Niland transferred to Galway University Hospital for treatment

Tom (73) remains in a critical condition

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Tom Niland

Tom Niland

Tom Niland

Sligo pensioner Tom Niland (73) remains in a critical condition and is receiving new treatment at Galway University Hospital.

Tom was left on life support with serious injuries to his head and upper body after a suspected attack at his home in Skreen last January.

His cousin Michael Walsh told The Sligo Champion on Tuesday that Tom is currently receiving plasma exchange which doctors hope will help stimulate the nerves in his body.

“He’s been down there (Galway) a couple of weeks, he has had two exchanges and is supposed to have another one,” he said.

Plasma exchange is treatment where blood is removed from the body and separated into its different parts, the plasma is removed from the blood and replaced with a substitute.

“They remove a reasonable amount of blood from your body and put in plasma from donors,” Michael said.

“Currently there is no reaction from Tom’s muscles, with his limbs there is nothing, you lift them up and they flop back down again, and they can’t say exactly what the reason is.”

Michael says there is some head movement from Tom, but doctors have told him this is just a reflex.

“The head movement is still there, it’s almost like he is paralysed from the head down,” he said.

To remain on the ventilator that helps him breathe, Tom received a tracheotomy which involves placing a hole in the front of his neck to assist with his breathing.

This procedure is often done to avoid health and hygiene problems developing from those who need to use a ventilator long-term.

Three men, Francis Harman (54), John Clarke (32), and John Irving (28), have been charged with aggravated burglary and possession of a knife at the home of Tom in Skreen on January 18th last and appeared in court last Wednesday (March 16) where they were further remanded.

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“I’ve been in court.

"The guards keep us updated but there’s not an awful lot to be updated on at the moment, we don’t know anything about the evidence,” Michael said.

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