A KIND Cornavarra father, who was seriously injured in a car accident, has built a beautiful stone chair for the staff of Musgrave Park Hospital to say ‘thank you’ for the excellent care he received throughout his recovery journey.
At around 3am on December 27, 2014, Paddy Gallagher was en route home after collecting his son from a night out in Omagh, when he was hit by a drunk driver and sustained severe injuries.
As well as breaking his pelvis and ankle, Paddy – who lives between Dromore and Drumquin – suffered a fracture to his skull and damage to his liver, spleen and kidney.
The accident also caused a bleed in Paddy’s brain, and the impact smashed his eye socket and his wrist.
However, ‘nothing was too much’ for the caring staff at the Musgrave Hospital in Belfast – and Paddy says the incredible treatment he received there is something that he will ‘always be grateful for’.
As such, stone-by-stone, and piece-by-piece, the 52-year-old slowly built the hand-crafted chair for the hospital employees, and finished the design with a plaque that read: ‘This seat is dedicated to the staff of Musgrave. The journey can be long, and the road can be rough. But you will get there in the end’.
The thoughtful creation now sits proudly in the grounds of the Belfast hospital.
“Building the seat took about six months, as I wouldn’t have the same energy that I did,” said Paddy.
“But I wanted to do something for Musgrave to say thank you, and I thought carefully about where I was putting the stones to make sure that it was right.
“The chair is something different for them, and I hope that they will enjoy it.”
Indeed this is the second stone chair that Paddy, wife of Angela and father to Paul, Colin and Aisling, has crafted in his lifetime.
The first was built in 2011, and is situated at ‘Jackie’s Crossroads’ (four miles from Drumquin in the townland of Cornavarra on the Tattysallagh Road).
To this day, the stone creation provides a lasting memorial to the wonderful local characters who used to meet and socialise there in the 1940s, and its idyllic setting gives visitors an opportunity to sit and reflect on the good auld days.