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Friday 22 August 2014

Respected Irish artist loses his spleen after being knocked from his bike by a pedestrian

Published 29/01/2014 | 14:48

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Passionate cyclist and artist Mick O'Dea lost his spleen as a result of a collision with a pedestrian a few weeks ago.
Portrait of a poet: Micheal O'Siadhail, painted by Mick O'Dea

An Irish artist has revealed how he lost four pints of blood – and ultimately lost his spleen – in a cycling accident when a pedestrian walked out in front of him on the road.

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Mick O’Dea, one of the country’s celebrated artists, was rushed to the Mater Hospital and spent four days in ICU a few weeks ago.

He told RTE’s Liveline today how a pedestrian walked out in front of him when he was cycling on Dublin’s O’Connell street, and he was thrown from the bike and landed on his back.

Mick, who is a “passionate” cyclist says this is the second time he’s had an accident on his bike in five years. This time though, he has not yet decided whether he will cycling in the city again.

“Fortunately I landed on my back rather than on my head... The guy who stood in front of me and caused the accident was there...I could feel the pain. I had to go down on one knee. I was helped particularly by two cyclists who came along after me.”

“I lost four pints of blood internally and I ended up losing my spleen. I wouldn’t have known a great deal about [the spleen].”

“I was bleeding immediately once that happened...after the scan, things moved very quickly. They could clearly see that I was losing a lot of blood.”

“The spleen is a defence against infection and because I no longer have it, I’ll be on antibiotics for the rest of my life everyday and I have to take any vaccinations for flu or things like that. And in the event of infection, I’ll be on stronger antibiotics.”

The artist, whose works have been included in public collections in The National Gallery of Ireland and the Royal Hibernian Academy, has thanked the gardai and staff at the Mater Hospital for their quick actions after his accident.

“I would have died essentially [if they weren’t so efficient]; my blood pressure would have gone down and I would have died. Rather than losing some of my blood, I would have lost a lot of blood.”

“I’m still recuperating. I’m here with Amelia my partner and she’s cooking me chicken soup. “

Five years ago, Mick fractured his skull in the first accident on his bicycle on O’Connell street.

“I had an accident on O’Connell Street at the other side of the street five years ago – on both occasions it was caused by a pedestrian.”

“I got back up on the bike because cycling is a pleasure. Unfortunately it’s a hazard. It could have been a hazard for the pedestrian if my breaks weren’t so good.”

Mick says has yet to decide whether or not he will get back up on his bike again.

“It’s a difficult one to call. I’m not getting any younger and I don’t want to lose my organs one by one.”

“It’s not illegal for any pedestrian to step out onto the road like that.”

However, he said cycling lanes are in “a sorry state of repair”.

“I come down Camden Street everyday to my studio... the lanes are covered with glass everyday, morning and night.”

“It’s more the failure to maintain the cycling lanes is causing a lot more problems.”

He appealed to motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians to give each party their own space on the road.

“We all share the road together and if everyone can be given their own space...Dublin motorists are particularly good for being aware of cyclists and of lanes. Dublin motorists do show a lot of respect to cyclists."

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