Family rally around Clonlara butcher who was given two hours to live

Artisan Butcher Brian Treacy, Ardnacrusha, Co Clare who is fighting for his life in hospital this week after developing sepsis. His family have set up a Go Fund Me page to aid with his medical and business costs. Photo: Liam Burke Burke/Press 22

THE FAMILY of a butcher who operates close to the Limerick Clare border, and who was placed on a life support machine in hospital after developing a severe infection last week, has sought donations to help him back on his feet.

Brian Treacy, of Clonlara, County Clare, was hospitalised last week after being given two hours to live after he arrived at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) having contracted sepsis.

Brian (46), who owns and runs an artisan butcher shop near the famous Ardnacrusha electrical power station, has undergone several surgeries and will require long-term physiotherapy to be able to return behind the counter of his beloved butchers.

Mr Treacy’s devastated family have been keeping a vigil by his hospital bed in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) followed by a stay in the High Dependency Unit (HDU) at UHL, as well as helping to keep the doors of his business open to his loyal customers.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page online to help support Brian through his medical and business costs.

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

“Every so often I break down and I say to myself, ‘is this really happening?’ Then I call myself to one side and I say, ‘we still have him, he is still alive’, said Brian’s mother Chrissie Treacy.

Praising the doctors and nurses, and the quick-thinking actions of her daughter Louise – a qualified nurse who had convinced Mr Treacy to go to hospital after she suspected he was suffering from sepsis – Chrissie added: “Brian is alive, that’s all I keep saying to myself. That’s what I’m holding on to. I just want to be able to bring him home.”

Becoming emotional, she described how being told her son had only two hours to live left her shellshocked.

“The surgeon met us and brought us into a room to tell us about surgery and said Brian had a 40 per cent chance of survival. He was sedated and on a ventilator from Sunday to the following Saturday in ICU, and then they took out ventilator and he was transferred into HDU, so he has a long road to go yet.”

“He has had four surgeries and he may have to go for skin grafts. When the surgeon said he had a 40 per cent chance of survival, I looked at the girls and we burst out crying. He had about two hours to live, if he had been two hours late getting to the hospital, he was gone. So he is a lucky man.”

Chrissie, her husband Paddy, and their children Louise, Jennifer, Barry, Linda, have put their shoulders to the wheel in support of Brian.

They have kept the doors of the butchers open while maintaining a constant presence at his bedside.

Brian opened up his butchers shop in Ardnacrusha seven years ago, and like most self-employed business people he has worked “six days a week without a holiday”, said Chrissie.

“He loves it, he loves his customers and having the craic with them.”

Mr Treacy’s brother Barry, who set up the online fundraising page, warned how his brother’s infection “happened so fast”.

“Had Brian left it a few hours more before going into hospital, or had the doctors and nurses not acted so decisively, he likely would not be with us today, a thought I cannot bear,” Mr said.

Barry Treacy said his stricken brother “never asks for anything, but he is in need of help from those who care about him, or who can relate to his situation and are in a position to help”.

After being brought out of an induced coma, Brian Treacy wrote a short but heartfelt message to his family telling them, “I love you all”.

To make a donation to the Brian Treacy GoFundMe campaign, visit