Talking To Tommy
Recently I spoke with Irish Singer Tommy Fleming on his 3rd tour of Australia . He is an inspiring and talented individual .
Tommy has had a lot of trauma and without wasting words that must have been a difficult time for him to come through .
His new album is enitled Begin which he says signifies something about where he is now in his life .
In the 1998s he was involved in a serious car crash that nearly took your life . When he were brought to the Mater hospital Dublin a very good friend of mine in Melbourne called Gerry had his daughter called Clare over there working as a nurse .
Clare was the first Australian nurse that the hospital ever had .
She was involved with nursing Tommy back to health then .
During a promotional tour for his current album back then Tommy's car crash resulted in him sustaining a number of serious injuries, including a broken neck, leaving both his life and his career in jeopardy.
Tommy had been returning to his native Sligo when he took a shortcut near home. He veered off the road and hit a tree, loosing consciousness for some time. The car burst into flames and with the driver door damaged it was more than luck to escape the burning car.
Incredibly, Tommy walked for two miles, not realising the extent of his injuries, before being given a lift by a local couple. Still in shock, he arrived in Aclarewhere his family took him straight to Castlebar General Hospital. Presenting with severe neck pain, the Hospital immediately transferred him to the Mater Hospital,Dublin. Tommy Fleming had indeed sustained a broken neck and was fitted with a “Jerome Halo”.
(The Jerome halo brace is a complicated and intimidating looking apparatus designed to keep the neck and head immobile while the broken bones mend. It is best described as a large crude-looking metal cage, which comes down over the head and shoulders, and is literally screwed into the skull at four separate points to keep it in place.)
Clare was part of Tommys recovery .
After Tommy had recovered form the accident he was back on the road touring again and came to Australia for a series of gigs .
When he performed at The Irish Club in Melbourne wih the band he was with then DeDanan, Clare went to see him with her Dad Gerry and also Maria Forde a singer/songwriter who was the support that evening to De Danan .
Clare is now working as a nurse in Townsville . She has also worked in Darwin as well but her memories of Tommy recovering from the horrific accident are still a vivid and emotional experience
Tommy is now back in Australia aagin touring for the 3rd time .
He is a inspiring person to speak to .
Recently he took six months off and flew to Africa to work with the aid agency GOAL. He was a field operative in war torn and famine stricken Sudan .
.During Tommy’s stay in Sudan he worked as a field operative which involved living in a hut in the desert, in a village in Brel as part of a team of six whose daily job was to provide food and medical assistance to the famine stricken Sudanese - mainly malnourished children.
Last year Tommy had to cut short his UK tour to rush to the family home in Aclare, County Sligo, when he last had learnt that his mum Annie (83) was seriously ill.
He was by her bedside for a week before she passed away peacefully on Friday morning atSligo General Hospital.
However, tragically, Tommy was dealt a double blow when his father Paddy (86) died just a few hours later.
The couple had celebrated their golden wedding anniversary only two weeks ago.
Annie's funeral was originally due to take place yesterday -- but was moved to today so she could be buried alongside her husband.
Its good to see Tommy back in Australia in 2013 and doing whast he does best .
A great Irish singer and an inspiring man .
If you want to listen to an interview I did here is a link to that .