Monday 24 July 2017

Surfer rescued from Irish Sea after 32 hours adrift released from hospital

Matthew is pictured with Dr Padraig Headley (Consultant Physician) & Rhonda Marks (Ward Sister)
Matthew is pictured with Dr Padraig Headley (Consultant Physician) & Rhonda Marks (Ward Sister)
Rescued surfer Matthew Bryce. Photo: PA

Cllaire Williamson

A surfer rescued after more than 30 hours at sea has been discharged from hospital after what his parents described as a "traumatic experience".

Matthew Bryce (22) from North Lanarkshire, Scotland, was reported missing by family after he failed to return from a Sunday morning surf off the Argyll coast.

He was eventually found by a search and rescue helicopter at around 7.30pm on Monday, drifting in the North Channel 13 miles from Northern Ireland and 16 from Scotland.

He was rescued and taken to the Ulster Hospital. As he recovered from hyopthermia in a hospital bed in Belfast, he vowed he would never surf again.

At the time Matthew told how he was convinced he was going to die. He said he had "made peace" with the idea until he heard a helicopter.

He has since made a remarkable recovery and has now been discharged from hospital.

Matthew said:  “The care I have received here at the Ulster Hospital has been second to none from the staff in the Emergency Department on my arrival to Ward 15 staff, all the porters, domestics and everybody involved in my care for all the love, care and support shown to me through this particularly traumatic experience.

"To each and every one of you 'thank you very much'".

Matthew and his parents Isabella and John is L/R: Dr Padraig Headley (Consultant Physician), Rachel Sloan (Staff Nurse) and Nicola McKenna (Physiotherapist)
Matthew and his parents Isabella and John is L/R: Dr Padraig Headley (Consultant Physician), Rachel Sloan (Staff Nurse) and Nicola McKenna (Physiotherapist)

His parents John and Isabella said the staff had made the "traumatic experience much more bearable".

They said: "Between us both, we have over 60 years’ experience working in the NHS, so we know how busy it can be.  The staff here in the Ulster Hospital have been so thoughtful, kind and considerate, and this has helped make a traumatic experience for us much more bearable.

This image, taken from Coast Guard video, shows the moment surfer Matthew Bryce was dramatically taken from the sea after his ordeal. Photo: PA
This image, taken from Coast Guard video, shows the moment surfer Matthew Bryce was dramatically taken from the sea after his ordeal. Photo: PA

"They helped turn a negative experience into a positive one.

"We would also like to thank the public for the many get well wishes that were sent to Matthew.  To Rhonda and all the staff, you have all been outstanding, we can’t thank you all enough”.

Belfast Telegraph

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