STUART MANGAN DOCUMENTARY BRINGS MANY TO TEARS
Tears were brought to many eyes as RTE earlier this week transmitted a documentary on the life of Stuart Mangan, the talented young man from Fermoy who, in April 2008, while playing rugby in England, broke his neck and as result was left paralysed from the head down.
As a result, Stuart was only able to breathe with the aid of a ventilator and needed 24 hour care. But, despite all this, Stuart was determined to get on with life, and after eight months in hospital he went home.
The documentary very movingly followed Stuart as he left hospital and showed how he adapted amazingly to getting on with a completely different life. It focused predominantly on the level of care he needed around the clock and how loving and caring his family were, with his parents living in close proximity to him in London.
Despite his life changing accident in the months to follow Stuart never lost his sense of humour, his passion for life and a desire to live it to the full. The documentary followed Stuart as he planned a family trip home to Fermoy.
It was a trip that would take not only 31 hours by land and sea but also the presence of his amazingly strong and loving mother, and his dedicated carers, and a new portable hoist. One very poignant moment showed Stuart when he arrived home, asking his dad to wheel him into the field behind their house.
The horse he had since he was a young boy came up to him and started licking his face. It must have brought tears to many people’s eyes. Stuart even spoke about designing a special saddle so he could ride his horse again and not fall off.
Throughout the documentary Stewart was remarkably strong and so full of inspiration. He spoke about taking a train to France, one of the many things he wanted to do in the future. Sadly on August 7th, 2009, Stuart suffered respiratory problems and passed away as a result.
Following the documentary on Stewart, The Avondhu has extracted the following comments left by people on various rugby sites online.
The comments reflect the impact Stuart has had on so many lives and how it has changed many people’s outlook on life: “I did not know Stuart Mangan but was touched by his story and in a small way tried to help with his quest. It is very sad to read that he has left us, but it is clear his spirit will continue through the efforts of those closest to him. I hope his legacy will be the inspiration to all to stay true to your principles and dreams, regardless of what stands in your way.”
“The word hero is used so flippantly in modern society but Stuart Mangan truly was a hero. A true inspiration.”
“How someone could be so upbeat and positive after such a change is incredible. Truly an inspiration.”
“I can’t tell you how hard this documentary hit me, I was truly inspired by Stuart’s positivity. It caught me off guard and I found myself crying when he was in the field at home in Fermoy, talking about riding horses when he was younger. We all have our bad days but we really don’t know how good we’ve got it until you see something like this.”
“It really put a lot of things into perspective for me.”
“Very interesting that RTE showed the Alex Higgins documentary just after the one on Stuart, the contrast really struck me, Stuart had a wonderful life cruelly taken away from him and Higgins threw a wonderful life away. Stuart’s documentary was very emotional, I never met the chap but, I along with many others, was involved in a few fundraising gigs for him. Very sad but what an admirable fellow he seems to have been.”
“From attending a number of fundraisers for Stewart it would really restore your faith in people and the lengths people go to, to make a difference.”
The above comments are testament to the affect Stuart had on people, even those that did not know him. He was a truly remarkable and brave human being who touched so many lives during his short life, and will continue to do so after his death.
Friday 13th August 10:59am