GRAHAM GERAGHTY HAS opened up about the brain aneurysm that almost cost him his life last October.
The two-time All-Ireland winner suffered a stage-four bleed on the brain while he was at work and underwent life-saving surgery that lasted almost eight hours at Beaumont Hospital the following day.
Speaking on BBC’s The GAA Social podcast, Geraghty recalled the moments before he was operated on, when he didn’t know if it would be a success.
“I was waiting to get the anaesthetic and they brought around the consent forms,” he said. “It said, ‘This could go wrong, [that] could go wrong and there is a possibility you mightn’t make it.’
“At that stage I didn’t really care, I was in that much pain. I just signed the form and the next thing I remember waking up in the recovery room. Everything went well, thank God.
“I made a good recovery, quicker than probably normal was because of the operation I had. I didn’t have the craniotomy which is the cut into the head. I had the operation through the groin and went up that way so the recovery time was a lot [faster].
“They came up through the aim artery in the groin to the brain and did the surgery that way. It’s called coiling so they put a coil in the artery that’s leaking and clogged it up that way.”
However, he wasn’t out of the woods yet and found the initial stages of the recovery process difficult.
“I thought that once the operation was done, that was it. I was better,” said the 48-year-old. “But it was worse really, the recovery. Because the blood that was in the brain had to dissolve itself and that took a little bit longer than I anticipated.
“Just having that time to reflect on where you were, what was happening, where ya going to be okay, were there going to be any side effects? It’s having nearly too much time to think.
“The first week was horrific. On a scale of one to 10, the pain was probably about 15. I couldn’t stick the pain really. I was on a lot of medication and painkillers. There’d be a lot of things going through your mind, ‘Are you going to see your family again, your friends?’. It kinda brings everything home.
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“There was one stage I was in that much pain I just said, ‘Listen, I have enough, if you’re going to take me, take me’. At that stage this African priest put his head around the curtain. I had one eye half open and he went off so I called him back and he sat there for probably 40 minutes just chatting, getting a bit of background about my family and different things.”
Geraghty continued, “He came back to see me then every night until I went home. I wouldn’t be a holy person but it was good to have someone be there for you when you hadn’t your family.”
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, his wife and four children were unable to visit him during his stay in the hospital.
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“I was in hospital for 16 days and I hadn’t seen Amanda, the kids or anybody really apart from the nursing staff. It was frustrating but when you’re that unwell you really don’t want to see anybody anyway.”
Geraghty, who is part of Bernard Flynn’s Meath U20 backroom team, remains grateful that he came through the ordeal.
“I’m generally good. I get very tired, a couple of naps a day, I still have to. I usually get up at about half seven, quarter to eight and by 12 o’clock I’d have to lie down again for half an hour. If I do anything I feel quite faint or get dizzy.
“Then that goes again when I sit down or rest. I’d take that any day. I could have been paralysed, loss of limbs, speech or anything like that. I count myself very lucky.”
You can listen to the full podcast with Graham Geraghty here.
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