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Mark McGovern is Back in Belcoo

Nov. 3, 2011

Mark McGovern returned to Belcoo late on Monday evening and we are all delighted to have Mark, Danny, Josie, Connie, Helen, Grace, Jessica and Emmet back with us. It has been a difficult 4months for all connected with the McGovern family but thankful Mark has made a good recovery and this will continue now he is back home.

Local Fermanagh newspaper the Impartial Reporter spoke exclusively to Mark and the full article is below (this report was taken directly from the Impartial Reporter website www.impartialreporter.com)

Mark's Faith Aided Recovery

INJURED GAA star Mark McGovern who returned home to Belcoo this week following a near fatal accident in America which left him in a coma has said: "It was God himself who saved my life".

The gaelic footballer who doctors said was "95 per cent gone" as he lay in a coma has defied the odds following an off the ball incident whilst playing for Ulster San Francisco in June.

On Monday, Mark and his family finally returned home to Fermanagh after 18 days of travelling 5,000 miles by boat, train and car and yesterday (Wednesday) the 23-year-old spoke exclusively to The Impartial Reporter in his first newspaper interview since the accident; admitting the last few months have been "very, very scary", but that his faith has helped him through it.

"I have always been a religious person, I bless myself on several occasions. It was God himself who saved my life. The doctor said I was 95 per cent dead. If I had just survived it, that would have been fair enough, but to have survived it and come out with no major problems, and be able to walk and talk is just amazing. It was obviously God himself up above that did something," he said.

Mark praised his family (dad Danny; mum Josie; sisters Grace, Hanna and Connie) and the people of Fermanagh for rallying around him, and helping him fight his way back from the brink. Though, he admitted to feeling a little "embarrassed" by the overwhelming level of support that been so evident throughout the county, and indeed, in America.

"I had a doctor who was so brilliant to me. I remember walking down the street afterwards and she stopped me and said 'You shouldn't even be here'. I had so many questions for her, and she helped me so much. The nurses who looked after me were so kind and helpful".

He has also paid a loving tribute to long-term girlfriend Jessica who was by his hospital bed everyday, and whom he spoke to for the first time when he woke up from his coma. "When I woke up from the coma she was there, I couldn't understand what was going on. She was with me every day; every step of the way. She has been brilliant and I don't know where I would be without her," he said.

It took Mark a couple of weeks from coming out of his coma to come to terms with what had happened him. It is alleged that a player assaulted the footballer on the pitch during that game in June, but Mark says he doesn't remember anything about the incident.

"The first month has been totally blanked out, I can't remember a thing. It was probably a week or two before I realised what was going on. I still have thousands of questions to ask," he said.

It could be several months before the FBI have completed their investigation into the incident, according to the McGovern family, but they say their priority right now (and Mark's) is looking forward to the future here at home. "The doctor told me I won't be playing football again so I have taken up golf. I want to get better at it and see how it goes. I have therapy to do in Belfast and I'm going to the gym a lot to build up my fitness," he said.

Speaking in their home yesterday, dad Danny, said: "We are delighted to get him home; it's an early Christmas present. It was a long journey but worth it". Mum Josie said her son has had a "remarkable recovery" and added: "It's all down to peoples' prayers and Mark's strength and determination, and God's work.

Sister Connie said she was "ecstatic" to see her brother home again, adding: "I was the first out [to America] and first home. I was like a wee child at the door waiting for Santa to come".

Helen said the family is "completely blessed" and Grace said: "When we left Belcoo we went out to bring Mark home safe and sound. We went out with the hope and faith that we would and now the day has come. We've brought him home four months later, better than we had imagined".




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