In the days after he was in hospital last month, chief medical officer Tony Holohan urged the public not to ignore symptoms that bear no resemblance to those of Covid-19.
Too many people are ignoring symptoms they may otherwise have had checked out, in order to avoid surgeries and hospitals. While Roger Timon, 17, who suffered a severe stroke earlier this month, did not ignore the signs, it is true to say that more young people are having strokes now than used to be the case. The sports-mad teenager was discovered by his mother, Derbhile, lying on the floor of their sitting room,unable to move or speak, paralysed down his right-hand side.
Derbhile acted fast. Consultant interventional neuro-radiologist Gerry Wyse was at home on a day off that day. Within 20 minutes of being contacted by staff, he was in CUH organising his team to save Roger’s life.
Roger is one of the lucky ones. He lives close to a world-class facility in CUH, as does the man who led his treatment. The teenager walked out of CUH just days after his world was turned upside down. He tested negative for Covid-19.
The advice is clear: Check the symptoms, check the signs, and don’t wait. The alternative may not bear thinking about, but must be considered.