Jan. 11, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
The Irish in New York — and around the world — are rallying around a County Monaghan man who was struck by a subway train last month and left with horrific injuries.
A GoFundMe page that was launched for David Cassidy 33, who lost both of his legs from below the knees in a devastating accident in Manhattan on Dec. 5, has raised more than $200,000 in a week.
Cassidy, an Irish immigrant from Clones, was standing on the 50th Street subway station platform prior to the incident when he lost his balance and fell onto the tracks.
He was then struck by an oncoming train.
Cassidy, who has lived in Woodside since moving to the U.S. in 2013, is currently undergoing a series of surgeries at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan. He will be confined to a wheelchair in the short term and will need prosthetics to walk again.
He is expected to remain in hospital for another few weeks. Cassidy also fractured two fingers.
His older brother, Niall, who set up the fundraiser, said the family faces hefty hospital bills despite Cassidy being insured.
The final tab is expected to be in the tens of thousands of dollars, since he also faces costs associated with his rehabilitation, according to Niall. Cassidy, who worked as a project manager for a construction company prior to the accident, also has living costs.
The GoFundMe has brought in more than $215,000 from around 1,400 donors since it officially launched on Jan. 2 – with a target of $250,000.
The Cassidy family is overwhelmed by the response to the appeal, Niall said.
“It’s been unbelievable, really mind-blowing,” Niall said. “I can’t believe how generous people have been, donations have been coming in from people we haven’t seen in years.”
Niall said that his brother has shown tremendous positivity and resiliency despite his life-changing injuries.
“David has been amazing with his attitude, he has been an inspiration to all of us and he is determined to move forward,” Niall said.
“He can’t change what happened and is lucky to be alive – it’s an absolute miracle that he didn’t die.”
The funds raised will be used to help with Cassidy’s long road to recovery.
Niall said that prosthetics will cost tens of thousands of dollars per limb and typically need to be replaced every three to five years. The doctors expect him to regain a good level of mobility, Niall said.
Cassidy will also incur additional expenses when he recovers—such as paying for accommodation with wheelchair access as well as for a transportation service. Furthermore, he will need ongoing care and help with everyday tasks.
His parents have been in New York for the last few weeks to help him with his recovery. Niall flew home to Ireland last weekend after being by his side following the accident.
Cassidy, who is from County Monaghan, will continue to draw on his tight network of friends who have been a source of strength to him over the past few weeks, Niall said. Prior to his accident, Cassidy was an active participant in the Clann Health physical activity programs run by fitness trainer Seames Keane.
Niall said his brother is known for going above and beyond to help people and is very well-thought-of by friends, family and colleagues. The outpouring of support to the GoFundMe page is a testament to that, Niall said.
“You are an incredible person,” posted one donor to the page. “Thinking of you every day, keep up that great strength and determination you have.”
Another contributor to the fund echoed those sentiments.
“David is an incredible [person] I got to know at school. This is just a small donation for an incredible gent,” the donor wrote.
Niall said that his brother is extremely grateful for all the messages of support and to those who have donated to the page.
The public can make a contribution by clicking on this link.