Hi I’m Eddie. In October 2020, as Ireland grappled with the ongoing pandemic, life took an unexpected turn for me. Previously working in a pub, the industry was already upended by COVID-19 restrictions, altering my sense of normal. Little did I know that on the same day the government received a letter recommending heightened restrictions, I would face a more personal crisis – a stroke, coupled with acute tubular necrosis, leading to thrice-weekly dialysis and my personal journey through rehabilitation.
Waking in the Mater Hospital, the world seemed foreign; my children were strangers, and the gravity of my situation elusive. Acceptance was slow, the adjustment to a new reality even slower. Transferred to the National Rehabilitation Hospital in May 2021, after over 6 months in hospital, I underwent communication and physiotherapy, helping me reclaim some basic skills. Five months later, I found myself at St Doolaghs Park Care & Rehabilitation Centre in North Dublin. The road to recovery meant grappling with loss, and facing lots of challenges and changes but the supportive staff guided me through tough days, instilling a sense of hope.
SMALL STEPS, BIG WINS
The hard work persisted at St Doolaghs—physio sessions, learning to walk with a tripod stick, and strength training. Collaborating with Occupational Therapy and Caitriona, the therapy technician, I worked on power mobility and set my sights on independence and community reintegration. With the help of Sarah, the activities coordinator, and Caitriona, we explored housing options first. After finally finding a suitable place, the girls helped me to apply and secure necessary grants and planned out a project of house adaptations required.
Catriona and Sarah comment, “Eddie was a great advocate for himself! It was a pleasure to help and see him where his now but his determination got him where he is. He had great motivation, set his goals, and worked tirelessly to make things happen. We were delighted to help him enter the community and settle into his own home after such a long road.”
FOND MEMOREIS AND FUTURE ASPIRATIONS
Two years later, with support from hospitals and St Doolaghs, I’ve reclaimed some independence and found a home. I fondly revisit St Doolaghs, cherishing memories of Christmas parties, brunch celebrations, BBQs, and trips to the Chocolate Factory coffee shop. The journey, though challenging, is marked by resilience and strength that are helping me rebuild a life after a stroke.
See our St Doolagh’s Park Care and Rehabilitation Centre here