Dad with rare condition suffers three strokes in four years
THE FAMILY of a 43-year-old Tallaght man David Byrne who has suffered three strokes in four years due to a rare genetic condition are fundraising for him to go to Leeds for rehabilitation to receive specialist physiotherapy treatment.
David’s wife Orla started the GoFundMe page for her husband, which received over €15,000 in donations from local businesses and individuals in just three days. Orla enlisted the help of her brother-in-law, Paul Philips, who owns Peachtree East Restaurant in Tallaght to help raise the money for the essential treatment for David.
“David had suffered from migraines for about ten years on and off and in August 2018 he had an ischemic stroke which affected his left side,” said Orla.
“That affected his arm and his leg, and he basically had to learn how to walk again. He got back driving, went back to work and then in March 2019 he had the second stroke, which caused further damage to his left side.”
In November 2018 David was diagnosed with a condition called CADASIL, which runs in his family, and is a rare non-treatable genetic condition that constricts the small blood vessels in the brain and causes strokes. After his second stroke and diagnosis, David learned how to walk again and rebuild his life for the second time in two years.
Coming up on three years stroke free on March 15 this year, tragically David suffered a third stroke on February 20, causing severe double vision and dizziness.
“He had been very well, and even though Covid came into our house he didn’t get it. He just got up off the couch and had blurred vision and ended up with extreme double vision and was in hospital for eleven days,” said Orla.
“The double vision started to repair itself and he got special glasses with a prism in them and that helped so his vision is about 80% now. He is also a lot weaker now, before he would have been out on 5km walks but he is building it back up.”
Orla, with the help of family and friends, set up the GoFundMe page to raise money to travel to a specialist rehabilitation centre in Leeds which will hopefully help David regain functionality that he has lost. There will also be a ‘Run for Dave’ five mile fundraising run held on June 19, with some proceeds going to the stroke unit in Tallaght University Hospital.
“We are hoping to go to a rehab centre in Leeds called Motion Rehab, who have state of the art technology for rehabilitation for neuro diseases such as strokes,” Orla explained. “We are hoping to go there for four to six weeks in the summer. We will relocate there, and our two boys will have to come with us as well.”
Speaking about her husband, Orla added: “He is the most positive and amazing person you will ever meet, and if you were to see him you would think that there is nothing wrong with him until he stands up and starts walking.
“He has no functionality in his left hand and that’s one of the reasons why we want to go to the centre, to see if they can do anything for it.”
To find out more information or to donate to David’s fundraiser, you can search ‘Help Dave and his family with his rehab journey’ on GoFundMe.