Sad news has come in from the family of Sean Doherty about a tragic accident that lead him to be paralysed from the waist down. Doherty has been instrumental to the sport of windsurfing in the UK, his help at the Tiree Wave Classic year in year out has seen some of our finest UK wave sailing talents ride some of the most prestigious waves on offer. This, in fact, reached out to the entire World as the PWA visited in 2007, highlighting the island and the UK as one of the premier windsurfing destinations on Earth. The man always on the scenes was Sean Doherty and now we ask everyone to dig deep to ‘return the favour’ – Doherty needs our help.
In a split second in September 2015, Sean Doherty’s life changed forever… but not that it’s slowing him up…. we’re raising money to send him to Canada to conquer snowboarding with a difference.
Sean is known mostly to the UK Windsurf community as the Tiree Wave Classic logistics expert and organised all the infrastructure at the various locations around Tiree. Always utterly professional he ensured the safe and successful running of the events and worked long hard hours always going above and beyond to help everyone. At night he morphed into the resident DJ for the week, hosting many memorable roof lifting nights in the Tiree Lodge Hotel.
The Scottish Championship Racer and World Vets Scottish Team Rider was racing against with his son on racetrack in near Alloa September 2015, looking for the fast 05line around a right hand bend after he had just moved from 5th to 3rd and chasing down 2nd place, when his bike skipped into a deep tractor wheel rut on the far side of the track and the bike stopped dead. Sean was thrown from the bike sustaining an impact from the handle bars breaking his spine at T5 then landed badly on his back further injuring him at T7 and T8.
He realised immediately that it was serious when he asked his son to lower his legs, but was told his legs were flat on the ground. The last message his brain received from his legs was they were pointing to the sky. In that moment, those few seconds Sean’s life changed, he was now paralysed from the waist down. He was airlifted to hospital in Glasgow and received excellent care from the specialist team in the Southern General. He underwent surgery to insert a cobalt steel scaffold spanning T6 to T9 to stabilise his spine, to allow him to sit upright and is now burning rubber in the hospital corridors in his wheelchair.
Far from feeling sorry for himself, Sean is inspiring in his lack of self-pity, pragmatism and positive outlook on the future. He fully intends to return to work, to driving, be involved in the motocross community, get back to many of his old passions and explore new opportunities where he can satisfy his insatiable appetite for living life to the full.
Part of his rehabilitation is getting back to the sports he loves. For many winters he would head off to the Alps and the Rockies to snowboard with his friends. Now his friends are raising money to get some much needed equipment and arrange a holiday to Canada where he can learn to re-master snowboarding or perhaps sit-skiing.
In 2007 at the Tiree PWA World Cup, Mitchell’s Glengyle Distillery donated to the World Champion a very rare signed 6 bottle gift set of 10 year old Kilkerran Single Malt which was set aside to mark the re-opening of the distillery. Kauli Seadi the worthy newly crowned champion has generously lent his support to the Sean’s cause by donating his prize and the whisky which is now up for auction and with a small number bottled it became a collector’s item within days of being released.
To show your support for Sean and his determination to get to the mountains again you can get involved in the following ways:
1.Register for the whisky auction – Your chance to get your hands on a ‘money can’t buy’ unique whisky set signed by the director of production and Kaulis’ Certificate.This is a great investment even if whisky ain’t really your thing. To register please e-mail Andy Groom at firstname.lastname@example.org
2.Donate directly at 22Foundation to help raise funds for the equipment – www.22foundation.co.uk/donate or check out FaceBook – The22FoundationScotland
3.Come along to our fundraising night Firebird in Glasgow’s West End, a fantastic venue with superb food and drinks for the party of the season.
Please check out the web site, please donate and please share this post on to others who would hopefully like to help