Personal Insights: My son's recovery after brain injury proves miracles do happen, says Cork Dad

Personal Insights: My son's recovery after brain injury proves miracles do happen, says Cork Dad
Daniel Day and his son Steve. Picture: Courtesy of Daniel Day

Cork father, Daniel Day, recounts how his son's 'against all odds' recovery after a serious brain injury following a cycling accident near Cork airport changed his life forever and renewed his faith that miracles are lurking for everyone even in their darkest hour.

There is something so special when you hold your firstborn in your arms.

When you look into those eyes you know that this is someone that you are going to love forever and devote your life to.

Blue eyed boy who was named Steven wrapped in my arms and all I wanted to do was to keep him safe forever. Life does not always work out that way.

It was a Sunday in November 2013. Steve had graduated from college and got a job and moved out of home. On that Sunday I had contacted Steve and we had arranged to meet up the following week to catch up.

Steve said that he was going to go for a run. He decided to go for a cycle instead with his friend.

The text stated that we needed to get to the Cork regional hospital immediately. Steve had been in a serious accident.

The details were not in the text. We arrived at the accident and emergency having cried and prayed on the drive to the hospital.

We were met with a surgeon that told us that Steve’s brain had been damaged and that unless the pressure was released he would definitely die and that he may die anyway.

We needed to give our permission. We did. We were brought into ‘the room’ and fully realised how serious this was.

Our friends began a prayer vigil and we waited and waited. We were then brought to the intensive care and many hours later Steve arrived. His head was swollen and one side was completely shaven.

His eyes were closed. I remember crying out to God that all I wanted was to see my baby’s blue eyes again. The specialist spoke to my wife and I and told us to get the family together as Steve was not going to make it.

Steve had not just received one brain injury but his brain had been injured in two places and a part of his skull had to be removed. I asked the chief surgeon how and when was my son going to die.

I was told it would be most likely within two or three days and it would most likely be either a stroke or a seizure.

My other sons arrived home from London and from the USA and I saw my sons grief but also saw them grow into men before my eyes. We stayed with Steve.

The brain pressure was constantly monitored and I could see the eyes of the attending nurses when things were even going downhill further communicating with each other trying to stop me from noticing.

The little girl in the other bed died and the lady on the other side also died.

Steve did not die. Steve was being pumped with everything imaginable. After a period of time a different surgeon told me that they could do no more. They were going to take Steve off the medication that was controlling the brain pressure.

As the surgeon stood next to me he told me that what was most likely to happen was that as the effect of the medication wore off that Steve’s brain would swell , make contact with his skull and Steve would die.

The surgeon stood next to me and we both looked at the monitor . The brain pressure remained constant. The surgeon walked away.

Friends and family continued to pray and support. Steve did not die. Every day a little bit of good news came. I was then told that Steve would live but would be a vegetable as a large portion of his brain was dead .

A number of weeks later Steve was walking and talking. Steve is now married, works full time and loves to tango.

No surgeon has an answer as to why due to the extent of the damage that Steve can do what he does. I call it a miracle.

My life completely changed as a result of the accident. I realised that I could not always keep my children safe but that even in the darkest of days there may be a miracle lurking as friends and family love and pray.

- Daniel and his wife are originally from Ballincollig and now live in Ladysbridge. Steve lives in Cork city with his wife.

Personal Insights: My son's recovery after brain injury proves miracles do happen, says Cork Dad

This submission is part of an ongoing digital initiative on irishexaminer.com called Personal Insights.
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