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'Helpless' Partner of injured Athlone fireman says it's 'really hard' seeing him suffer

Patrick Berry, a fireman with Athlone Fire and Rescue Unit, sustained “extensive” injuries during a call out to a home in Co. Athlone last Thursday.

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Patrick Berry and Nicky Beaumont

Patrick Berry and Nicky Beaumont

Patrick Berry and Nicky Beaumont

The partner of a critically injured firefighter has said that she feels “helpless” seeing him suffer in hospital.

Patrick Berry, a fireman with Athlone Fire and Rescue Unit, sustained “extensive” injuries during a call out to the home of former Offaly footballer Nigel Grennan in Mount Temple, Co. Athlone last Thursday after part of the house’s gable wall collapsed on him. The house was completely gutted in the fire.

The father-of-three suffered 11 vertebrae fractures, a broken collarbone, broken scapula, several broken ribs, fractured tubular and fibula bones and a broken ankle as a result.

He also suffered swelling on the brain from the impact as well as severe lacerations to his neck and tongue.

Patrick is currently undergoing recovery treatment in Tullamore hospital, where he is receiving pain relief for his injuries.

The father of three has been with the Athlone Fire and Rescue Service for over four years.

Speaking on Midlands 103 today, his partner Nicky Beaumont said that the firefighter has been having both good and bad days in hospital.

“He’s been lying flat on the bed since the accident,” she explained.

“He’s had his ankle and leg operated on, which consisted of plates and screws being put into the leg to put it back together... Spinal injury surgery hasn’t been ruled out yet as well.

“He’s up and down. He’s a really hardy guy so it takes a lot to phase him. There are days that I’ve gone down [to the hospital] and he’s flying – a mixture of the pain meds and the adrenaline – and then there are days where he’s been in extreme pain. To the stage that he’s actually crying, which is very unusual for him.

“It’s really hard to see him like that. You're just so helpless looking at him,” she added.

She then opened up about how she felt when she heard her partner had been injured.

“I’m in college doing psychiatric nursing, so I came home early and I was just sitting at the table doing an assignment and I saw the two boys coming in from the station,” she shared.

“I just knew when I saw them. [I thought] ‘God no, something’s after happening.’ At that stage, they thought it was only the ankle that was injured. It kind of put me at ease slightly.

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“As I went down to the hospital, I learned the severity of the injuries. I was snapped back to reality then.

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Patrick Berry

Patrick Berry

Patrick Berry

“I’m still kind of running on adrenaline, keeping a strong face for him and the kids. But at night when I’m on my own that’s when it hits.”

On Tuesday, a GoFundMe page was set up to help cover the cost of Patrick’s medical expenses, and has raised almost €20,000 in under a day.

Nicky said that she’s “so thankful” for the generous donations and added that the funds will be “put to good use.”

She said: “It will help towards his medical expenses because there’s only a certain percentage that’s going to be covered from his work.

“It’s going to help modify the house, it’s going to help get anything make him comfortable. He’s going to be in a wheelchair for while afterwards so it’s just to help us out as much as it can.

“There’s so much that can be done with the money. It really will be put to good use and I’m so thankful for everyone that’s contributed so far. The generosity is just amazing in the community.”

Donations to the cause can be made here.

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