26 Sept 2022

Laois soccer player Rocco on road to recovery after ambulance controversy

Laois soccer player Rocco on road to recovery after ambulance controversy

Rocco O'Reilly shows his cast with his mother Lynn.

The young Laois soccer player who was left waiting for over an hour on a wet pitch for an ambulance that never arrived, is making a rapid recovery.

Rocco O'Reilly, 13, a talented player with Portlaoise AFC, was eventually taken to Tullamore hospital by his parents Lynn O'Reilly and Paraic Smyth after they and his club decided to take action instead of waiting any longer.  

Paraic gave an update on Rocco's condition to the Leinster Express on Wednesday September 15.

"He's doing grand, he's back in class and not in pain," he said.

"His wrist snapped in two, the bones lapped over each other. He had just tapped the ball and went down, it wasn't anyone's fault. The club were great, but what went on with the ambulance was ridiculous. Still at 12 midnight there was no update.They never even rang back or questioned where he was."

The club had been told not to move the child by the emergency operator after they rang for help.

"I'd have had him gone but they said don't move him. We waited there an hour and 20 minutes and then it took us another 40 minutes to get to the hospital. We were three or four hours waiting there. They tried to put it together but then they had to knock him out completely to do it that night.

Paraic thanked a member of Laois Civil Defence who was off duty at the match but strapped up the wrist to ease Rocco's pain.

"He was sore enough. Once the blood flow returned and the adrenaline wore off the pain kicked in," his dad said.

Portlaoise soccer club who have wished their Under 14 player well, will see Rocco back on the pitch as soon as he is allowed.

"He is looking to get back already," Paraic said.

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