AN Antrim camogie player will defy medical advice when she lines out in Sunday’s Gala All-Ireland junior final against Waterford.
23-year-old defender Rhona Torney captained the county to Ulster championship and National League successes two years ago but was told by doctors last year to quit because of a rare heart condition called Long QT Syndrome (LQTS).
The St John’s GAC player’s problem is a disorder of the heart’s electrical activity which can sometimes lead to sudden death but after six months spent on the sideline, the Belfast woman opted to return.
“They told me in July (2009) not to do anything” said Torney. “All I was allowed to do was light exercise but not competitive exercise.
“Last year, as the months went on and I wasn’t playing, I had to talk about everything.
“When everyone saw how down I was, they knew it wasn’t me. My family didn’t want me to go back and that was hard because obviously, it’s them I care about. I was not feeling the best about myself. Everything I do involves camogie.”
An operation to place a battery-operated mechanism into her heart would help her condition according to her doctors but they would still not have allowed her to play. After discussions with her family, she returned to training four months ago and is preparing for the biggest game of her life.
“I asked the doctors straight, what was the risk. They said they couldn’t say because they hadn’t done enough research. But you only get one chance and I might as well do something I enjoy instead of living and having regrets.”
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