MMA star left permanently paralysed after freak injury dreams of family reunion

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    A fund-raising campaign has been launched for an Irish MMA star who hasn't been at home with his family in over a year after being left permanently paralysed.

    Ian Coughlan suffered a horrific injury while training and although he has raised enough funds for a cottage for his family, it still needs to be adapted for his needs.

    Having fought under the Bellator banner back in 2019, the middleweight landed on his head while training for a bout and has since been transferred to multiple hospitals and rehabilitation centres.

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    Wildgeese Martial Arts has now organised a fundraising appeal on behalf of Ian's partner Rayna and his two-step sons, over a year after he was last at home with them.

    As of Tuesday afternoon, €4000 (£3400) of the €100,000 (£86,000) target has been raised, with leading MMA journalist Ariel Helwani offering his support on Twitter.

    The Galway based former fighter, who was rushed to Galway University Hospital at the time of the accident, had initially planned to raise funds for Hybrid Assistive Limb therapy in Germany before deciding against the risk and purchasing the family home.

    Speaking of his condition at the time, Coughlan said: "There's still an element that I can't believe this is happening. What I've been saying to the people here is that this injury has taken my MMA career from me; it's taken a large amount of my life from me and what I love to do, but I can't believe I'm going to go into debt because of it.

    "There's government funding, but it doesn't even scratch the surface of what goes into it or what's needed. That's a real tough pill to swallow but we'll have to adjust."

    Since the accident, Coughlan has regained mobility in his arms but uses a wheelchair to move around the facility.

    Now hoping to have the Cottage adapted to his needs, an emotional Coughlan told SevereMMA when asked what it would mean to have those funds: "It would mean I can start thinking about getting on with my life.

    "It's so hard to make any kind of plans because I don't know when I'm getting home. Just being able to see my family every day and be where I'm comfortable."

    Coughlan has received a quote of €173,000 (£149,000) for his house to be made fully wheelchair accessible, saying that the Irish government can only cover around €35,000 (£30,000)."

    To donate to Ian's GoFundMe page, Let's get Ian home, here: gofundme.com/f/lets-get-ian-home

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