Radio DJ Gareth O’Callaghan suffers broken back in horror road crash

The broadcaster will not be on air this Saturday, his wife Paula told followers on Twitter.

Gareth O'Callaghan

The scene of the collision on Sunday. Photo: Gareth O'Callaghan/Facebook.

Eoghan Moloney and Maeve McTaggart

Radio DJ and author Gareth O’Callaghan has revealed he suffered a broken back in a horror crash last week.

O’Callaghan shared images of the wreckage of the collision in Cork last Sunday and said paramedics had to work on him through the wreckage of the car before he was brought to Cork University Hospital.

O’Callaghan said his wife Paula and daughter Emma were able to escape the wreckage with just bad bruising and shock.

“Happy St Patrick's weekend to you. I had to postpone my birthday today as I have been in Cork University Hospital since last Sunday following a very serious car crash,” he told followers on social media.

“Thankfully Paula and Emma who managed to get free from the wreckage are recovering at home from bad bruising and shock.”

He said he was in heavy, slow-moving traffic when the collision occurred.

“Following scans and further tests in CUH on Sunday night, I was told by the surgeons that I have a broken back, a ruptured lung, and some other injuries,” he said.

The popular DJ also shared photos of the wreckage with the top of the car cut off by Cork City Fire Brigade. He was eventually transferred to CUH, where he has stayed for the past five days.

The scene of the collision on Sunday. Photo: Gareth O'Callaghan/Facebook.

“Just to give you an idea of how serious the crash was, photos here show units of Cork City Fire Brigade and paramedics from the National Ambulance Service working on removing me from what was left of the car, having had to cut off the roof.

“We are deeply grateful to teams from Cork City Fire Brigade, the National Ambulance Service and the Gardaí for taking great care of us. Also our thanks to those who left their own cars in order to help us ahead of the arrival of the emergency services.

“Unfortunately, I'll have to take a break from my radio show until I know what comes next. I have been told my injuries are very serious. My special thanks to the medical teams here at CUH who have been amazing as we try to start to find a way through this awful experience. I'll keep you posted in the coming days.”

In late December, the radio presenter was forced to undergo two surgeries following a “freak accident” that left him in hospital until the New Year.

In a tweet, his wife Paula explained that her husband: “Was bringing the bins out and the bin slipped.”

“Gareth’s fingers were caught around the handle... His fingers are in a very bad way, and he has had two surgeries since Saturday.. Please send positive vibes,” she said.

The well-known Classic Hits host has been open about living with multiple system atrophy – a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, identifiable by symptoms affecting parts of the nervous system that control involuntary action.

He previously told Ireland AM on Virgin Media One that the illness progresses until “you are literally incapable of doing anything.”

“If you can imagine everything that you do every day, you’re slowly losing the ability to do that,” he said.

Last year, he shared that he had begun a Japanese therapy in an effort to prolong his health while also taking medication to overcome his nausea.

“Because there’s nothing you can do for the illness, there’s absolutely nothing to stop it or cure it, I’ve been looking up some new treatments,” he said.

"We came across a hydrogen therapy treatment in Japan. This is frontline medical treatment, where you inhale molecular hydrogen through a cannula and I do that most nights.

“It would be very easy to give up and I think if you give up, really the only person you’re letting down, apart from your nearest and dearest, is yourself.”

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