Tyrone man’s life was turned upside down after suffering stroke

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A County Tyrone father-of-seven found his life turned upside down when he suffered a sudden bleed on the brain, or haemorrhagic stroke, in the run up to Christmas three years ago.

Forty-four-year-old Bosco McShane from Coalisland was the last person you would expect to have a stroke.

He said: "I don’t drink or smoke, and thought I was fighting fit. I had even run in the London Marathon in April and the Dublin Marathon in October just a couple of weeks beforehand.”

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Understandably, Bosco’s stroke has had a massive impact on him and his family. He says, “It impacted the whole family.

Bosco McShane was last person you would expect to suffer a stroke.Bosco McShane was last person you would expect to suffer a stroke.
Bosco McShane was last person you would expect to suffer a stroke.

"The kids felt it when I had to stay in hospital for a month after the stroke and it was tough for my wife Lynette worrying about me and having to take care of all the wee ones on her own.”“At Christmas especially, it’s the little things that are affected that can annoy you the most. For me the Christmas lights blinking on the tree triggers something – I can’t even sit in the room with them. Background noise is also more difficult.

"When you have all the children in playing with their toys and they’re making noise, it can be very tough for my head. I don’t want to be a ‘bah humbug’ and take down the lights or take away the toys, but sometimes I just have to avoid it or go and have a lie down which is hard.

"It affects the whole family that way – they’re watching you and trying to keep the noise down if I need to have a sleep during the day, which is tough.”Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke is there to help people like Bosco get back to being able to do the little things.

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The charity provides life-changing care and support services to anyone at risk of, or currently living with, chest, heart and stroke conditions.Bosco explains how the charity has supported him: “One of the Care Co-ordinators from Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke contacted me. At that stage we were entering lockdown during the pandemic."Only for their support, I was lost. When you come home from hospital, you’re left on your own.”

Bosco with his wife Lynette and their children.Bosco with his wife Lynette and their children.
Bosco with his wife Lynette and their children.

This Christmas Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke (NICHS) is raising public awareness about the long-lasting effects experienced by many people who have suffered a heart attack or stroke or have a respiratory condition.

The charity is launching their Christmas ‘Little Things’ campaign to highlight many of the little things that people affected by chest, heart and stroke illnesses might be unable to do and the ways in which the charity can help.

Many people affected by such conditions are left with debilitating psychological symptoms and often physical disabilities, leaving them unable to do many of the things we take for granted in our lives like hugging loved ones, buttoning clothes, or getting out and about.

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Ursula Ferguson, Director of Care Services at NICHS, said: "As a local charity, almost 90% of all our work is funded exclusively by public donations and these funds are essential in enabling us to continue to provide life-changing services for people like Bosco and their families."

To find out more about supporting the charity’s ‘Little Things’ campaign this Christmas, visit www.nichs.org.uk/littlethings

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