Limerick boy, 7, excels after suffering stroke

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

A LIMERICK boy who suffered a stroke aged six has been honoured at the Irish Heart Foundation’s annual Life After Stroke awards.

A LIMERICK boy who suffered a stroke aged six has been honoured at the Irish Heart Foundation’s annual Life After Stroke awards.

Oisin Blake Ryan, 7, was one of three children among 14 stroke heroes honoured at the awards ceremony in Dublin.

After scoring a goal with his soccer team Caherdavin Celtic in Limerick last February, Oisin later collapsed with a severe pain in his head.

Medical experts said it was a catastrophic event involving a bleed to the brain. He was unconscious for five days, and his mum was told that there was a “very high chance” that he may not survive.

She credits the quick-thinking staff at the Mid-Western Regional hospital, and in particular Dr Michael Mahony and his team, whom she regards as “unsung heroes” for saving his life.

The left side of his body was affected by the stroke but it is now 85% back to normal following weeks of rehabilitation. His grandfather Denis spent every waking minute by Oisin’s bedside for 11 weeks, to see his grandson through a double craniotomy and eight weeks of rehabilitation. “Oisin’s sheer willpower and determination for one so young is incredible and he keeps striving to get back to what he loves most, his sports – soccer, rugby and hurling,” said his grand-dad.

“The last six months have been tough but Oisin has kept his mum, family and me going with a smile and joke for everyone, no matter if he was on his way to theatre or waking up after one of his procedures.”

Mum Cathy said receiving the award was fantastic for her family and Oisin. “It gave us a chance to celebrate the fact that he’s here with us. In his world he was the star of the show,” said the 37 year-old mum of three.

Now a pupil at the JFK school, she said he’s getting top marks in his exams, but is anxious to return to his love of sport.

The awards were presented by broadcaster Marty Whelan and singer Dana, whose own mother Sheila suffered a stroke. More than one person an hour suffers a stroke in Ireland, and there are nearly 50,000 stroke survivors in Ireland today.