Miracle operation gives Irishman new life
After losing all hope in life, a County Wicklow man who spent more than a year using both his hands and knees to get around, found joy in life again after a highly successful operation in New York in March.
Paddy Byrne, 47, had an accident at work in 2007, causing him excruciating pain. He thought the pain was coming from his ribs or his back.
The pain got so bad the only way he could get around was on all fours. Doctors in Ireland said there was nothing wrong with him. Maybe a little physiotherapy would do the trick.
Byrne, who worked as a forestry contractor, began to question himself. Was he imagining the pain?
Sandra Byrne, Paddy’s wife, was slowly losing the husband she loved very dearly. He was giving up on life. Depression was a day-to-day reality for the young man.
He told his wife he couldn’t continue the way he was. Doctors in Ireland said there was nothing that could be done. He was told to get used to living with the pain and using his knees and hands to get from place to place. He couldn’t do it for much longer.
While suffering from extremely bad pains since his accident in 2007, it wasn’t until March 2008 that everything came to a head.
“I found Paddy out in the field stretched out. He couldn’t move. It was just terrible,” remembers Sandra.
To get her husband back into the house, Sandra knew she had to be innovative. She hitched a trailer to the back of a quad bike, and after some struggles got Paddy onto the trailer and back to the house and called the ambulance. Byrne was rushed to Naas Hospital.
“They said nothing was wrong with him,” said Sandra angrily.
“I was losing my mind. I couldn’t continue like that anymore,” Byrne himself told the Irish Voice from his home in Knockananna, Co. Wicklow on Monday, June 29.
Paddy and Sandra were at their wits end. They sat down and discussed the option of going to America. They heard good things about doctors and operations in the U.S. but they really didn’t have that much information.
“I didn’t care, I would have preferred to end up in a wheelchair than the way I was,” said Byrne after carrying out a few odd jobs around their modest farm.
Doctors in Ireland told Byrne they didn’t have the tools to fix his problem.
“Every door was shut in our face. They just didn’t care or have the answers we were looking for,” recalls Sandra.
Paying for an appointment with a top doctor in a hospital in Dublin, Sandra said they weren’t even granted face to face time with the doctor.
“A nurse came out and pulled Paddy around for about half an hour and he crippled, and said that she would report her findings to the doctor,” said Sandra.
The nurse reported that Paddy “just needed physiotherapy.”
Distraught yet again, Sandra called the nurse back and asked about this new injection she had heard about that supposedly alleviated bad pain. The nurse said that the injection was not an option for Paddy.
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