Friends of Kenneth Golden Launch Emergency Medical Fund

Chicago based Castleisland native, Kenneth Golden with his wife Laurel and their three boys.
Back in the day: Students, Bríd Reidy (left) with Kenneth Golden and Mags Teahan at the official opening of Castleisland Community College on Friday 26-5-1989. ©Photograph: John Reidy

Riverside Drive, Castleisland native and Chicago, USA based policeman, Kenneth Golden suffered a serious medical emergency at home on the weekend of October 13, 2018.

Kenneth, now in his late 40s, is a past pupil of Castleisland Community and was very popular and witty part-time barman at several pubs in Castleisland before he headed to the US.

He wasn’t feeling well one day last month and had an earache and a sore throat that evening before his shift, but he went to work anyway.

Immediate Care

The next day, feeling worse he went in to immediate care and was told he had a viral infection, nothing to do but tough it out. That night he called in too sick to work.

By the second day he still had not slept and was unable to swallow anything.

The morning of day three, getting worse, Kenneth returned to the immediate care facility where he was instantly referred to the ER and was diagnosed with epiglottitis, an infection and swelling of the flap between the esophagus and windpipe. The ER gave him IV antibiotics for two days.

A Heart Issue
After 48 hours in the ICU breathing was getting harder and the doctors were forced to intubate him. Intubation was difficult and during the procedure Kenneth suffered a heart issue and they had to reset his heart with electroshock.

After successful intubation Kenneth was put into a medically induced coma where he remained sedated. After almost a week of not getting better, an infection was discovered in his chest that required surgery where they removed a growing abscess from between his heart and lung.
Doctors Concerned
Later, his breathing tube was removed and replaced with a tracheostomy, but there was still little improvement.

While this was going on, Kenneth’s wife Laurel was asked to look into a long term acute care facility and rehabilitation.

Suspected Abscess
Then, another suspected abscess was found and Kenneth had to have another surgery to remove this. Now he’s looking at a long road to recovery.
Kenneth came to the US in 1993 from Castleisland, Co. Kerry, Ireland with a dream of helping people through police work. He met Laurel, married and eventually achieved his dream of being a police officer.

Reduced to Disability Pay

They are members of Windy City Community Church in Norwood Park and they have three boys, twins (6) and the oldest (8).

Things were always busy, but they always seemed to have family time.

Since this happened Laurel is working much less. And before this is all over Kenneth will be reduced to disability pay.

Two incomes are definitely necessary for this family that stretches time by working split shifts, him at night, her during the day.

Short Term Help

Kenneth was the primary cook, preparing meals during his day shift as dad, while Laurel took care of children’s activities and appointments after school hours. Since his hospitalisation, Laurel is losing almost half her hours at work.

There’s short term help now, but very soon it will end and she’ll be forced to work even less hours or employ an after care which will take roughly half her regular take home pay.

Kenneth is insured, but with Laurel working less and their portion of the medical bills quickly rising, they are running out of money.

Medical Bills and Daily Expenses
“Fiercely independent, its not easy or usual for them to ask for help,” said a spokesperson for the funding campaign.

“The funds raised from this initiative will go toward medical bills and daily living expenses not covered by Laurel’s reduced pay.

“Whether or not you’re able to make a donation, please consider sharing Kenneth’s fundraiser on social media.

“We’ll share these stories with Kenneth to show him why his community feels blessed to lend him a helping hand and inspire his recovery,” said the spokesperson.

Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so with a click on the link here:

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