About Alan’s Dad
Milo Corcoran talks about his stroke
My name is Milo Corcoran and I suffered a stroke almost a year ago on 15 March. I remember it as if it was yesterday; it’s not something you forget easily. As a Board Member and former President of the FAI, I had just returned from a UEFA meeting in Switzerland. I’m used to running on near empty with travel and meetings but this time I felt really tired – my head felt full and I was a bit hazy so I went straight to bed that morning.
Two hours later I woke up and couldn’t see properly. I could feel one side of my body getting stiff and I knew then that I was having a stroke. My balance was gone and I couldn’t get out of bed but my mobile phone was near and I called my wife, Marie and she sent for the doctor. I tried to drink a glass of water but my swallow had gone. Once the doctor arrived he called 999 for an ambulance immediately and on arrival, the paramedics made sure I was wired up for monitoring and ready for scans at Waterford Regional Hospital.
In the hospital I was getting worse and increasingly numb down my right hand side. I had three scans – MRI, CT and Echo. Even though I couldn’t get out of bed, I knew it was important to stay positive. The worst part was not being able to do anything and I lost my speech for four or five days. On top of that I was experiencing triple vision which meant the remaining beds opposite me in the ward, looked like they stacked up on each other. Not a nice feeling.
I can’t say enough about the nurses in Waterford Regional Hospital, they were amazing and after two weeks there I then spent a month at St Patrick’s Hospital for rehabilitation. I was allowed home at weekends in my wheelchair and by the end of the month, I was able to stand using a walking frame. My sons Alan (21) and Evan (28) were great at keeping my spirits up, but I didn’t like being dependent on them or anyone for lifts and so on. The road to rehab is not easy and I signed up for a further six weeks of rehab with the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dun Laoghaire where I received speech therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy.
I still go to the NRH once a week. How… you might ask? Well as I said I hate being dependent so one of my first challenges was to get well enough to drive again. It’s good to have a goal and as soon as I was allowed, I practised driving with a rehab. My practise paid off and now every week I drive up to the NRH in Dublin from Waterford and enjoy my independence.
But I’m not without my scars even though I look right as rain after all the rehab. I still have some numbness down one side and my personality is changed. I find I am very emotionally sensitive to life and to news stories. Some people think I am lucky, that I feel so much. And like many stroke survivors, I sometimes experience gaps in my memory – my wife tells me that’s just my age! I hope telling my story helps more people feel comfortable about talking about their stroke. And more importantly I hope it will encourage people to donate on this website so the Irish Heart Foundation and the NRH can continue their fantastic work in helping people like me.
Milo Corcoran started on FAI Senior Council representing Waterford United in 1981. He accompanied the Irish football team to EURO 88 in Germany, Italia 1990 and USA in 1994. He also travelled as President of the Football Association of Ireland to Saipan, Japan & Korea and he is looking forward to going to Poland and Ukraine this summer (2012).