Paddy McStravog, 26, a member of Na Toraidhe Hurling Club and the Kevin Barry Gaelic Football Club, is awaiting a third surgery on his badly injured left leg following a motor vehicle accident on Kelly Drive near Falls Bridge on December 30. McStravog, who resides in Manayunk, is from Dungannon, County Tyrone. He arrived in the United States in March 2019.
Driver Paul Young, 35, of Mitchelstown, County Cork, and passenger Scott Ball, 36, did not survive the crash.
McStravog, a bricklayer by trade, is in Penn Presbyterian Hospital. He underwent 10 hours of surgery to repair injuries to his ankle and lower leg immediately following the accident. “He had gone in for a second surgery, but they didn’t complete that because his leg was too swollen,” says Katrina Terry, club secretary for Na Toraidhe.
Friends and members of both teams were stunned to hear of the accident.
“Paddy was over for Christmas dinner … and a couple of days later, you hear that,” recalls Barry Colton, club chairman of the Kevin Barrys. “We couldn’t believe it. It was a huge shock.”
Colton says he learned about the accident from Conor McNulty, Paul Young’s business partner. McNulty was with his family in Ireland at the time. “I had called him to ask him to bring something back from Ireland, and he broke the news,” says Colton. “He had just been told. He didn’t know what hospital Paddy was in. I didn’t know what to think.”
Terry says she learned about the accident in a group message sent to Na Toraidhe team members. A night shift worker, she had seen a news report about the accident before going to sleep. “I woke up to the message that Paddy was a passenger,” she says.
McStravog is known as a superb athlete, but there’s so much more to him.
“Paddy gets along with all the clubs,” says Colton. “There’s no arguing or twisting with Paddy. He’s a pretty good kid. Paddy is pretty straightforward … he’s always been good to people. He’d be the first to help anybody else. That’s why it’s been so easy to get people to help out because Paddy’s just good to everybody.”
No one has anything bad to say about McStravog, adds Terry. “One of our hurlers said, ‘Katrina, I have a hurler for our club, a great dude, a great athlete,” she says. “I met up with him at the Limerick pitch and he just had a really good attitude, a really positive vibe. From that, he started coming out and I would be the one to give him rides to practice. He’s always looking to have a good time, hang out with people, make sure people are involved in whatever social aspects of the team. And he’s a huge Shania Twain fan … if she’s out there reading this.”
You can help out.
Currently, there are two GoFundMe crowdfunding campaigns underway to help defray the costs of McStravog’s medical care and recovery.
To assist with medical care: https://gofund.me/26bd3a08.
Raising funds for wheelchair accessible accommodations and rehabilitation: https://gofund.me/7b4b909d