A Derry man who was diagnosed with kidney failure last month in the U.S is now set to travel home for treatment thanks to an astonishing fundraising effort both here and in America.
Paul McKeever, originally from the Belmont area, took ill in California in early April.
Paul, who had lived in the Napa Valley for several years has spent the last number of weeks undergoing regular dialysis for his condition. The expensive treatment has led to mounting medical bills and a loss of earnings for the popular Derry man who emigrated to America some years ago.
However thanks to generous donations from friends and contacts in Ireland and America, the fund for Mr. McKeever is currently standing at $53,735 (£35,575).
Speaking to the Journal at the weekend ahead of the long trip back to Ireland, the 53-years-old said:
“The latest news is that I’ve have been offered a place in a new state of the art unit in Northern Ireland. Doctors in Napa and Belfast are arranging transport to Ireland in the next weeks. There is a short window of opportunity to make the journey. I’m sad for leaving Napa after so many years, but delighted to be going home for treatment.
“Thank you all for your continued support and good wishes; it makes a huge difference.”
Mr. McKeever added that he had been overwhelmed with the help and well wishes he had received since becoming ill and apologised for not being able to get in touch with everyone who had helped individually.
An accomplished musician and well known and respected in local music and theatre circles in Derry, Mr. McKeever’s story touched hundreds of people locally when the appeal for funds first began via Facebook. Donations are still being received via http://www.gofundme.com/PauMckeever