Last summer, I started getting palpitations and I would also get very breathless when playing football. I was sent to a cardiologist and after many tests I was diagnosed with Tachycardia and was then sent for a Cardiac MRI - as a precaution due to the amount of sport I played - which confirmed that a virus had attacked my heart. I had to give up playing football and wasn't sure if I could ever play again, I was prescribed beta-blockers and other medication and had to take 6 months of complete rest - no football, no P.E. at school and nothing that would raise my heart rate.
Now, seven months on from my diagnosis, I have been given the all-clear to play football again but due to a small area of fibrosis (scar tissue) on my heart, I can only play sport with a defibrillator and trained personnel present. Even though the risk is minimal, the doctors say it is still compulsory for me to have a defibrillator present at all sports venues. As not all venues have a defibrillator on site nor have trained personnel, I am asking you to support me in purchasing my own defibrillator and training for my family/friends/coaches to operate it.
Without 6 months rest I could have done more damage to my heart so I was extremely lucky to have found out about my condition when I did. Others aren't as lucky because they may have this condition or any heart condition and not know about it. That is why I think it should be necessary to have a defibrillator on all sports grounds. There's no telling how many lives could be saved by making it compulsory for all sports venues to have a defibrillator on site.
All support is greatly appreciated and I'd like to thank everyone who has already helped my fundraising campaign to date and also helped me to raise awareness about the need for defibrillators on all sports grounds. I would also like to thank all the medical professionals who helped me get back on the pitch and all my coaches (especially Cathal for his time and dedication to my strength and conditioning training to get me back to doing what I love), teammates, family and friends for their continued support throughout my journey back to football. Thank you all so much! :)
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