The National Burns Unit at St. James’s Hospital is lucky enough to have been befriended by Paul McNeive. Paul lost both of his legs in a fire at the age of twenty, and twenty years later was managing director of auctioneers Hamilton Osborne King when it was sold to Savills. Today he is a motivational speaker and writer and has agreed with Odhran Shelley, the director of The National Burns Unit, to try to assist the patients. He says: “I am honoured to be asked to take on a role to support other burn-injured patients; I am not sure yet what my role will be, but I look forward to helping if I can.”
Paul is an inspirational figure; he says: “I constantly needed to prove that I could do just as well without my legs, as with them. So I had to try a little harder at everything. I was deeply motivated. And when you try a little harder at the right things, you soon stand out”. Paul has also became the first double amputee in the world to gain a helicopter pilot’s license and has written No.1 hit songs; he also tours worldwide with his Bono impersonation, music / comedy show…
Odhran Shelley contacted Paul following publication of Paul’s book Small Steps (click here for information) and he is deeply grateful to Paul for his interest to be try to be of assistance; he says: “Burn rehabilitation is a complex and protracted process for the burn survivor, his or her family and the entire treatment team – and we all recognise that, for the best outcomes, people really need to be motivated; I think Paul can be of great assistance to us all.” A small number of patients have recently organised themselves into a group called MOWBI – Moving on with burn injury (click here for information) and Odhran says: “I hope they can help each other and I believe they will be very glad to have Paul’s support.”
The National Burns Unit at St. James’s Hospital caters to severely burned patients from all over Ireland. Patients are admitted following house-fires, construction accidents and other traumatic incidents – suffering from burns ranging from 1 – 2% of their entire body skin to 90% and higher. A multi-disciplinary team provides specialist care for more than 200 people each year. The staff of The National Burns Unit aims to raise €500,000 over the next two to three years to provide new equipment and infrastructural changes that will directly improve their possibility to care for patients.