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Dublin: 12°C Thursday 26 May 2022

Parents of 20-year-old who suffered stroke playing GAA told their son had 20% chance of living

The family are now trying to raise funds for his treatment.

Image: Run For Adam Burke via Facebook

THE PARENTS OF a 21-year-old who suffered a severe stroke during a GAA match in Kildare last year are appealing for the public’s assistance to raise funds for their son’s treatment.

Adam Burke spent two weeks in a coma and doctors told his family he may never walk, talk, or recognise them again.

However, he is now doing all of those things but needs more treatment to reclaim his full speech and mobility.

Speaking on Today with Sean O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio 1, Adam’s father Willie described seeing his son being tackled on the pitch last July. He said he knew that something was seriously wrong when he saw Adam come out in the second half.

Our eyes met and I could just tell something was wrong, he was grey in the face.

“I don’t know why I was tracking him, suddenly I just saw him out in midfield and he put his hand up to his head and then just fell gentle as you like onto the ground.

I jumped over the fence and ran into him and took him by the hand and I could tell he was in terrible trouble. We were telling him that we were here and that everything would be alright.

Adam’s mother Catherine told Cormac O’hEadhra on the RTÉ show that doctors at the hospital immediately told her that Adam was critical.

We were given the news at that point that he had a 20% chance of living and if he did live that the chances of us communicating, walking, talking or interacting with us were very slim.

Adam’s brain was swelling and his skull-cap had to be removed in a lifesaving operation to allow his brain to swell naturally.

Catherine said, “He was in a coma for two weeks. He was very sick when he came out of the coma.

He gave us great hope after three days. He put his big left hand out around our necks and gave us a hug.

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Adam now needs therapy to reclaim his full speech and mobility but it can cost around €1 million.

Willie says that his son’s brain may be able to find new paths and ways of learning because he’s a growing young man.

“The therapy he needs is very expensive. He’s a growing young man, his brain is able to find new paths and new ways and that’s what the funding is really for.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up and over €10,000 has been donated so far. The couple described how the local community is helping to organise fundraising events for their son. 

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