A young boy was paralyzed following a fall while on the trip of a “lifetime” to Disneyland Paris and other iconic locations in the French capital.
11-year-old Kevin O’Callaghan was visiting France with his family when tragedy struck leaving the child from Mallow, County Cork in Ireland in an emergency room in Paris and significantly paralyzed. One report notes:
Kevin O’Callaghan, from Mallow in [County] Cork, had to undergo an emergency in Paris last week and finally made it back to Ireland on Wednesday night.
One of eight siblings, he had been enjoying the holiday of a lifetime having just visited the Eiffel Tower and the Parc des Princes football stadium, but later during the trip he fell in the soft play area of a hotel and lost all feeling in his body.
Kevin’s 25-year-old sister, Rachel, and mother knew there was something wrong with him after the accident. His sister said:
“Kevin is the sportiest little fella, he plays a lot of sport including hurling, football and soccer, so he’s taken a knock before. When he said he couldn’t feel anything after he hit the ground we initially thought it might be a concussion, but after he was taken to hospital for scans we knew something was seriously wrong.”
After being assessed by medical professionals, the report states the severity of the injuries sustained by the 11-year-old:
Kevin had suffered compression of the spine and neck, following an MRI he was rushed into emergency surgery. Only his mother Eilis was able to accompany him to hospital due to current Covid-19 regulations in France – she hasn’t left his side once in the last two weeks.
Rachel went on to detail how the devasting injury is affecting the whole family:
“Any of us would take it away from him in a heartbeat, he isn’t the kind of child who likes to sit in or play video games, his whole life is outdoors, we are just hoping with the right treatment that he can make a good recovery and we could see him walking in the next year.”
The reports suggest that Kevin’s fall did not happen while visiting Disneyland Paris’s Disneyland Park or Walt Disney Studios Park, nor did it happen at one of the Disney Parks’s hotels, but, seemingly, at a location prior to the family’s arrival at the French theme park Resort. It is not totally clear just where the incident took place at this time.
Per the report, the family is said to be adapting their home to meet Kevin’s needs as they chart this next chapter of their lives. Currently, there is a GoFundMe page where donations can be made to help with the 11-year-old’s care as well as the family home adaptations. At the time of publication, the total stands at €23,335 (approx. $25,000).
Rachel goes on to say how her mother had planned this French holiday, including a trip to Disneyland Paris, “to a T”. The rallying behind the family and the monetary donations will be an important factor in the future health of Kevin O’Callaghan.
Currently, the Walt Disney Company’s Disneyland Paris is celebrating its 30th anniversary celebrations complete with a new drone pre-show, Disney D-light, happening over Sleeping Beauty Castle prior to Disney Illuminations.
For the complete guide to Disneyland Paris’s 30th anniversary, every Disney hotel currently available to Guests (Disneyland Hotel is undergoing refurbishment, for example), and other offerings at each Disney Park and locations like Disney Village, then head here.
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Guests visiting Disneyland Park or Walt Disney Studios Park can utilize the Disney Premier Access service on certain Disneyland Paris rides. The system allows Guests to board rides such as Phantom Manor, Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, and the Star Tours: The Adventures Continue attraction, quicker for an additional fee on top of their Park ticket.
For all information on the current health and safety protocols including face-coverings, Health Passes, and vaccination requirements, then head here for the official information.