A football jersey signed by FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi is among the items up for grabs at a weekend event to raise funds for a young Derry man critically injured in a hit-and-run incident in Thailand.
Richard Quigley (27), from Ederowen Park in Galliagh, sustained serious head injuries when he was hit by a motorbike in Bangkok on Thursday last.
Richard’s elder brother, Stephen, flew out to Bangkok to be by his brother’s bedside and was told by the neurosurgeon who carried out the life-saving procedure that he would have died if he had not undergone the operation.
Richard emerged from a coma briefly this week to speak to Stephen and was later moved out of the hospital’s intensive care unit.
The urgery performed in the Bangkok hospital is expected to cost in the region of £6,000.
Richard’s friends in Derry are fundraising to help the Quigley family pay for the surgery.
A Richard Quigley Fundraiser page has been set up on Facebook and a fundraising night will be held this Sunday night in Da Vinci’s, where Richard worked as a barman before moving to Thailand.
Among the prizes in a draw to be held on the night is an Argentinian football top signed by current world player of the year Lionel Messi.
Stephen Quigley said his brother continues to make steady progress.
“The doctors did an amazing job taking care of him and he is lucky to have good friends both here and back home,” he said.
“Richard has now been moved out of ICU. He is doing much better.”
A spokesperson for the fundraising committee added: “There are so many people doing so many things to help Richie and we want to thank everyone so much.”
The Quigley family said it had a particular word of thanks for the family of a young Derry man who died in tragic circumstances in the United States recently.
Patrick Friel Curran died suddenly in September, two days after being taken to the hospital suffering from back pain.
The Quigley family said: “There is one family we can’t thank enough - the family of Patrick Friel Curran. Patrick’s mum called to the house to offer support and comfort and, in a beautiful act of charity, made a donation to help pay for Richard’s hospital bills. Such a kind and wonderful family to take the time to support Richard.”
Linda Friel, Patrick’s mum, said: “I’m just glad I could use the money that the good people of Derry raised to help my son.”