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Club Rallies Around Young GAA Player Who Suffered Stroke During A Game

Club Rallies Around Young GAA Player Who Suffered Stroke During A Game
Arthur James O'Dea
By Arthur James O'Dea
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At a time when some feel the community aspect of the GAA is under threat, the difficulties facing a sports-mad 21-year-old in Kildare are gathering national attention.

Adam Burke has had sporting successes in rugby, soccer and Gaelic football.  An All-Ireland Junior Club winner in 2014 with Two Mile House, he scored 2-02 on a day that would see a Kildare club win the county's first national title.

However, as a result of a freak injury in a club football match, Burke suffered a devastating stroke. Given the particular severity of his injuries, the likelihood of Burke's survival was around 20%. Doctors highlighted that even if Burke did survive, the chances of him walking, talking or even recognising his friends and family again were slim.

Yet, thanks to his 'incredible fitness level and immense strength of character, he survived this catastrophic event' and is now well on the road to recovery.

Speaking to Cormac Ó hEadhra on RTÉ this morning, Burke's parents reflected on this harrowing experience. Burke's father Michael remembers the series of events that led to this horrendous incident:

About 20 minutes into the game Adam ... got a crunching tackle into his chest that drove him back into the ground. He was attended [to] there on the ground and then thankfully we seen him getting up.


When Adam re-emerged for the second-half his father - who had been watching him carefully throughout the match - didn't immediately notice anything wrong with his then 20-year-old son. However, as the half progressed, "our eyes met and I could just tell that something was wrong maybe, and he was grey in the face".


Although he appeared to have overcome the shock of the hard tackle, Burke's father kept tracking Adam's movements, and, suddenly he, "saw him out in the midfield on his own and he put his hand up to his head, and then he just fell as gently as you like ... onto the ground".

At this point, Michael Burke recalls running onto the pitch immediately to where his son had fallen. Thanks to the quick intervention of a physio who was present also, Adam was carefully dealt with as an ambulance was called. While few would have expected such a horrendous incident to occur to their 20-year-old, Adam's father recalls his immediate feeling that his son had suffered a stroke.

Although his recovery is now well underway, Adam Burke has a long road ahead of him. While his parents were insistent that his public sector healthcare had been nothing short of astounding, they understand that Burke requires a quality of rehabilitation that this sector cannot provide.


In an effort to offset some of the inevitable costs, Burke's community are embarking upon various money-making projects to ease the burden.

Later next month, a run is being organised in aid of Burke's treatment and can be supported here.



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