My Health Experience: ‘My eyes were fixed and dilated. I was basically dead’
A clash during a rugby warm-up left 14-year-old Kerry schoolboy Ronan Fitzgerald unable to play contact sports again
I am grand now and don’t mind the scar. I think it is kind of cool. I can’t do sports anymore.
It is in case I get a knock on my head and that would be very bad and could be fatal. Not being able to do sports is very hard, especially as I was so sporty.
I still go to training and I can do the running and the drills, but I can’t do the contact parts of it. I go to matches though and was mascot at a Kerry match recently.
I know I am very lucky to be alive, but I am annoyed to be honest. The chance of the injury happening was so small, that I am really angry it did happen.
Oh, I forgot. Paul O’Connell came over to my house for a cup of tea when I was recovering and it was unreal. He signed my jersey. He was a very nice guy and was chatting away with me and asking how I was getting on.
With my memory now, I would say it is almost 95 per cent there. I’ll continue to improve. I have a meeting with the doctor next month and he’ll tell me how I am getting on.
They asked me to help launch Cork University Hospital children’s ward as the charity for Cork Rebel Week, which is in October. I had to go to have pictures taken and I was really nervous doing it but it was cool. They want people to buy Cork Visas, which cost €2, and all the money goes to the children’s ward.
People ask me did I ever meet the lad in the ruck who I hit against and I did meet him and he said sorry. I said don’t worry about it. I didn’t get to talk to the other guy yet, but I would like to. They all say he felt really guilty but it wasn’t his fault at all. I’d like to tell him that.
My Dad says that the people who minded me in hospital did a better job than he or my mam would have done. They were outstanding. I just want to say thank you to all the people who were very good to me. I’m grand now.
In conversation with Brian O’Connell