Norah Casey on recovering after six-week hospital stint: 'The doctors were saying I should be in the morgue'
Broadcaster Norah Casey says she learned a "harsh lesson" when she was hospitalised for six weeks after pushing her body too far.
The former Dragon's Den star said she has a "tendency to want to be superhuman" but came face to face with her own mortality when she was admitted to Blackrock Clinic for a ruptured colon and when her appendix developed gangrene.
Casey was married to businessman Richard Hannaford and he died of cancer in 2011 and she threw herself into her work after his death, building up her public profile with radio and tv appearances, not to mention acting as CEO of Harmonia Publications.
"The consultant did say to me, 'It's filthy dirty in there, it's going to be nasty. You're not going to recover easily'. There were pints of pus coming out of me all the time.
"I don't know how my friends came to visit me - it was so bad, the nurses used to put cocoa beans under the bed to take away the smell; it was disgusting," she told the Sunday Independent.
"Imagine dying of that? My poor husband got a cancer that you couldn't prevent or cure, and I allowed this to happen to me," Norah says. "I could have died. In the early days, the doctors were saying I should be in the morgue.
"It was the biggest life-changing experience for me. I might have died from something I could have prevented, instead of ploughing on and pretending I was superhuman.
"I do have a tendency to want to be superwoman; it was a harsh lesson."
And while she might be taking a healthier approach to her busy lifestyle, the mother-of-one says she needs to "find the right balance" between staying busy while taking her foot off the gas.
"I have to find the right balance between keeping my brain active and not overdoing it," she explained.