Sam’s road to recovery (Samuel O’Sullivan)

I am starting this GoFundMe page for my son Samuel O’Sullivan, he is on a life long road to recovery after suffering a brain aneurism/ stroke at the young age of 20 (due to and AVM). All funds raised will go towards his long term rehabilitation (which will include Physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists etc. to allow him to adapt to his new normal), medical devices such as wheel chair, medical bed, alterations to our home to accomodate Sam and his needs and possibly a customised vehicle for transport. These are just some of the things the hospital staff has identified as essentials. Doctors have also advised us to expect Sam’s hospital stay to be many months or longer before he is allowed home.

The 26th May 2020 was a normal day, Sam had come home from work, had his dinner was relaxing as usual when he decided to do some push-ups (he was into keeping fit). Shortly after doing the push-ups he came to his mother and I screaming with excruciating pain in his head. We were immediately concerned and called an ambulance, he then started to go down hill very quickly, I had to perform CPR on him until the ambulance arrived.

Within hours neurologists at Monash Clayton were performing emergency surgery on Sam to control the bleed and remove the pressure on his brain. They discovered he had Arteriovenous malformation (AVM) we were informed he’s had this condition since birth. They performed a high risk follow up brain surgery within 48 hours to remove the AVM as there was a good chance it could rupture again. During both operations we were informed we may lose him on the operating table.

Sam is in the ICU at Monash Clayton, He is stable and has very limited use of body functions. Surgeons recently had to perform a tracheostomy so they can remove his breathing tube, Sam can’t speak but can open his eyes however his vision is blurred, he can squeeze our hand with his right hand (but not his left) and can wriggle his toes. He seems to understand us and responds by squeezing our hand - one for Yes, two for No. We have been told it is his body movements, co-ordination, balance and vision that is most affected.

Sam’s 21st Birthday was just 7 days after the incident. Sam is very fit and weekly frequented a UFT gym nearby and is the most genuine person anyone could meet, he cares about all the people in his life and has many friends. Sam has a knack of making people smile and is compassionate, has a great deal of empathy for others and is a most respectful young man. Sam had dreams like like everyone else of owning his own home, For a young man Sam had his head screwed on and had a clear eye on his future. So much so that Sam was in the final stages of being accepted to enter the Victorian Police Academy as he had just passed his fitness and medicals a week before this incident occurred.

Sam is in the fight of his life and is an inspiration to all of us but needs help along his journey. We will keep every updated on Sam’s progress and endeavour to set up a dedicated Facebook page for Sam’s recovery. Once set up I will display the address as an update here.

What is an AVM? An AVM occurs when arteries in the brain connect directly to nearby veins without having the normal small vessels (capillaries) between them. The arteries and veins in an AVM can rupture because of pressure and damage to the blood vessel causing bleeding into the brain.



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Brenden O'Sullivan 
Narre Warren South VIC
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