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My Visit To The National Rehabilitation Hospital

Late last month, on Nov 28th I was kindly invited to join the Road Safety Authority & An Garda Síochána in their launch of this years Christmas and New Year Road Safety appeal at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoighre.

It was personally for me an extremely moving event! The fact that it was on in the National Rehabilitation Hospital and that I was in the place, believe it or not was in a word a milestone for me! When I left Derriford hospital in the UK in late August 2012 it was believed I’d need to spend time there. Fortunately for me I recovered well enough not to need to be treated there.

But it was, always our dream that Con would be able to go to Dun Laoighre, tragically he never recovered well enough to go! At the time, in my own little silly head I had planned on moving to Dun Laoighre whilst he’d be there and had looked up accommodation different nights on returning home from spending the day with my bestest buddy. It was my new plan for us! Tragically for all of us, it was never to be!

A few years later I moved to Dublin while I was undertaking a counselling diploma. Every Monday as I travelled into Dublin to college, I used to drive past the National Rehabilitation Hospital, it was a dagger in the heart to say the very least, the what if’s, the why not’s, the if only’s, the the the ……………

But I’ve had the grace thanks to Moyadh Murdock and the great team at the Road Safety Authority to face my demons and seven years later visit, what I now know is the most amazing facility, but sadly is underfunded and undersized. Please God this will change and they will get the minimum of 300 beds that they so badly need!

During my visit there, I met with some amazingly brave in-patients as well as patients who had spent time there after being tragically involved in road crashes . They were so brave not to mention truly inspiring in their recounts of their crashes and their big big journeys to where they are now! The powerful message they had for us all on, on everybody’s need to respect our roads and the awful impacts of road crashes in changing lives as you know it, forever!

We all know the impact of road deaths, some of us better than others, but the impact of living with life changing injuries is also a death in a way. For many crash victims they will never get the grace to return to their previous work and may not even return to living an independent life, that’s a very heavy cross to bear for themselves and their families. It is in fact death in a way, of the beautiful able person they had prior to the crash.

I suppose for me it was a great ‘kick in the ass’ to be very thankful for the way I am physically after our tragic crash in 2012. It robbed me of My Everybody, which for obvious reasons I will never recover from, but Thank God seeing as I wasn’t meant to go too, I was left with the Grace of Independence.

I remember in Derriford the last day or so before I was flown back to Cork University Hospital, when the medical team used to come to my bed in the Neuro ward in the morning, the Doctor used to say; “Ye know Elber, ye know her case history, She defies medicine!’ I used to think, what a bonkers way they speak about their patients in the UK, needless to mention I didn’t realise the extent of what had gone on either medically or otherwise!

To be honest my visit to the National Rehabilitation Hospital, was a big wake up call for me as to the physical Elber that could have been left! …………….. It’s a Terrifying Thought!!!

Do Try To Stay Safe On The Road!

The Consequences Of A Road Crash Are In A Word Horrific!

It’s A Scary Life Changing Experience That You Really Never Want To Witness!!


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