There were horrifying scenes in Cusack Park, Mullingar, on Sunday, when Athlone based footballer Cathal Joyce collapsed beside the dugout just seconds after complaining that he couldn't see.
The 25 year-old's heart stopped before being revived with a defibrillator at an Intermediate club game for the Athlone GAA club. Speaking to Balls.ie today, the relieved player said:
I remember doing the warm-up near Cusack Park and then I thought someone kicked a ball to me and I went to catch it but there was no ball there at all. A few players led me to the dugout and I complained that I couldn't see anything, then I collapsed. I don't remember it though, people have been feeding the information to me.
Cusack Park is closely situated to Mullingar Hospital which was crucial for Joyce's survival and this is just the third time that the young Athlone GAA player has performed there. Routine scans and an echocardiogram were conducted today, and Joyce will travel to Dublin tomorrow for an MRI which will give more detailed information as to what caused his unexpected collapse.
— Athlone Town FC (@AthloneTownFC) September 14, 2015
Joyce, who also plays for Athlone Town FC, insisted that he had no ill feeling ahead of the game and completed the warm-up with ease.
I was 100% before the game and I was flying in the warm-up. I'm just very lucky. Obviously there would be a bit of a fright but thankfully the services were on hand to help.
Cathal's brother Paul, along with a Doctor, the Order of Malta and others, were instrumental in resuscitating Paul.