Suffering A Brain Haemorrhage At 19 And Living To Tell The Tale

Written 4 months ago by Angel Croitor


Ruairi Aspell from Drumraney in Athlone was attending a music festival called Szeiget in Budapest during the summer of 2018.

“It was my holiday for the year – it was a big electric picnic over there – I was flying, I was training for the triathlon – we were getting set up the first day and there was no bother at all.”

After setting up his tent, taking a quick gander around the location to make sure they’re hitting the best spots in the time frame they had and then your worst holiday nightmare happened to Ruairi.

“I woke up with an unbelievable pressure in my head – it felt like there wasn’t enough space in my head for my brain.”

He just about managed to grab the zip and “swan dived” into the mud. Ruairi believed he had bad heat stroke, as it was 30 degrees which led him to conclude that it must’ve been the weather, but when his friends saw him they couldn’t believe something was wrong.

They tried to help Ruairi by getting him some water but quickly his friend, who works with the Order Of Malta, had his training kick in and alert the nearest medical team attending the festival.

“First hospital I went to they were asking what did I take – I said I didn’t take anything but they said legally they wont tell anyone – they went and asked my friend but he said I didn’t take anything.”

After a brief questioning they said they’ll scan Ruairi’s head as a precaution. Once it was completed – he woke up in a bed with two doctors at the end of it. They told him he had suffered a brain haemorrhage and that was what was causing the headache. He would be operated on the next day to save his life.

“They transferred me over to the hospital – the National Institue of Neurosurgery in Budapest – it was as good as you would have in Ireland.”

Ruairi says that the hospital gave him the feeling that he would be absolutely fine. He was assured that he could return home and that they would do their best to have him back to normal.

With the recent events in his life Ruairi has decided to raise money for charity which he plans to divide between the hospital that saved his life in Budapest and Stroke Clinical Trial Network Ireland which specialises in research into the treatment and prevention of stroke.

His GoFundMe page can be seen right here: https://www.gofundme.com/ruairi039s-039swim-to-recovery039-challenge

You can hear the full interview up above.