Monday 21 August 2017

Dublin man (65) critical after suffering from stroke en route to dream holiday with family

'He's doing well. They don't really know what to expect but he's getting great care' - says concerned daughter

Thomas Campbell with his two daughters
Thomas Campbell with his two daughters
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

A retired Dublin Bus driver is fighting for his life after suffering from a stroke on a long-haul flight to Miami.

Dublin man Thomas Campbell (65) was on a nine -hour flight with his wife Margaret, his son, his daughter-in-law and his grandchildren when he suffered from a stroke.

The former Dublin Bus and An Post employee, was to spend one night in Miami before heading on a cruise to Orlando with his family.

Thomas's daughter, Leonie Campbell, told Independent.ie that her father remains in a critical condition in a Miami hospital.

"He was only meant to be in Miami one night before heading on a cruise, but three hours from Miami he suffered from a stroke.

"The staff on the plane were going to make an emergency landing in the Bahamas but it would only have been 10 minutes shorter than landing in Miami so we went ahead.

"He was without oxygen for a long time so we weren't very hopeful."

Thomas, from Glencullen Co Dublin, was rushed to the intensive care unit in a Miami hospital where he underwent urgent brain surgery.

"They removed blood clots from his brain and the right side of his skull had to removed because his brain was swelling and bleeding so much.

"He was completely unresponsive and wasn't talking or moving or anything."

After a second surgery, the 65-year-old became responsive when his family played him some of his favourite music by Elvis.

"He moved his thumb and then he began to improve. He started speaking and he could move his right side but not his left."

The Dublin man, who will turn 66 in August, has six children, 11 grandchildren and four step grandchildren.

"We all want to be out here with him but we're taking it in turns. It's so hard that something like this has happened so far from home. It took me nine and half hours on the plane to get to him."

The family are now fundraising to help raise money for Thomas's wife, Margaret, who has remained at his side.

"My mam needs accommodation and she could be here for months with my dad because he won't be able to fly home for a very long time. We're trying to raise money to help her with her living expenses while she's here.

"The cruise was all- inclusive and they had already bought the tickets for the Orlando theme parks so they didn't have a lot of spending money on them. My man has been putting everything on her credit card so we're trying to help her."

Leonie said that her dad is getting "the best care, probably better than he would have got at home".

"He's doing well. They don't really know what to expect but he's getting great care."

You can donate to the Campbell family here

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