A year ago, the Cox family couldn't have imagined what this Christmas period would bring them. Instead of celebrating at home, they were instead in the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire.
Sean Cox was viciously attacked by Roma fans before the Champions League semi final in Liverpool last April, and every day since has been a life altering struggle. The Meath man was left in a coma for three months after the attack and now continues his recovery in Dun Laoghaire, surrounded by his wife and three children, where though an uncertain future still awaits, positive signs are thankfully emerging.
The incident rallied the Irish football and GAA community, as well as the wider Liverpool fan community, who have continuously offered support and raised money for Sean's care ever since the attack. Today, his wife Martina, released a positive update on her husband's progress and heartfelt thanks to those who have helped in the last eight months.
As we reach the end of 2018, I would like to extend a huge expression of gratitude to everyone who supported Seán and I, and our children Jack, Shauna and Emma, since Seán’s attack in April of this year.
We spent a lot of time over Christmas with Seán in the National Rehabilitation Hospital, Dun Laoghaire, where he is continuing to make progress. He no longer has a feeding tube so is starting to eat and drink again with the help of the wonderful nursing staff. Seán has some more words and is trying very hard to sing along to familiar songs; these are encouraging and proud steps for us all.
Our family used the time with Seán over Christmas to try and relay to him the public goodwill and support there has been for him over the eight months since his attack. We have shown him social media posts, press clippings and videos from fundraising events across Ireland, England and further afield, the GoFundMe page and the SupportSean.com website, letters and signed jerseys all in aid of Sean and his recovery.
This time last year we were an ordinary family looking forward to another New Year and what that would bring. Seán or I never dreamt that twelve months on, there would be websites or media interviews or fundraising events all brought about by what happened after Seán was attacked in Liverpool on 24th April.
While it has been an exceptionally difficult time, what has helped me and the kids get through it has been the overwhelming goodwill of Seán’s family, friends, supporters and the general public. The Support Seán campaign has witnessed huge generosity and has raised €1.1 million to date. People whom we have never met have been there for us in so many, many ways, alongside our family, friends and local community. While we have a battle ahead again in 2019, our burden is lightened by this love and support for Seán.
Thank you for everything you have done for Seán, our family and me during 2018. To the communities of Dunboyne, Dublin, Ireland, Liverpool and many other places across the world; to people who took part in events for Seán, organised fundraisers or donated online; to the child who sent five euro of their pocket money in an envelope to our house; we owe you a debt of gratitude. Thank you and Happy New Year.
Dunboyne, Co Meath.