‘It all could have all ended for me that day’
Sean O’Hare regularly hikes for miles in Northern Ireland’s Mourne Mountains.
It’s been a rapid period of recovery for the 45-year-old from Warrenpoint.
Ten months ago he was rushed to Craigavon Area Hospital after suffering a debilitating double stroke.
The school teacher had always been active, running a number of marathons, as well as playing and coaching in his local Gaelic team.
He said: “I was in school last August and all of a sudden I just felt the power go out of my left side of my body and I could feel my face falling.”
After being brought to hospital, doctors discovered he had been living with an undiagnosed hole in his heart.
He was scheduled for surgery and has had months of therapy.
“It could have all ended for me that day, but I didn’t want to let my stroke define me,” he added.
There are more than 335,000 people in Northern Ireland living with a chest, heart or stroke condition.
Catherine Murnin is director of care cervices for the charity Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke.
She said: “There’s a perception that a stroke is a condition that only happens to older people, but Sean’s story shows that’s simply not the case.”