Sunday 22 April 2018

Actor Daniel Reardon rushed to hospital after suffering from an epileptic fit during a play at the Abbey Theatre

Daniel Reardon in 'Way to Heaven'
Daniel Reardon in 'Way to Heaven'
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

Actor Daniel Reardon was rushed to hospital after he suffered from a epileptic fit during a play at the Abbey theatre earlier this week.

Speaking to Joe Duffy on RTE's Liveline, the renowned actor said he was watching Ulysses when he fell ill.

"I'm fine. I didn't realise the show had to be stopped. I'm terribly sorry about that. Andy Lee, my son-in-law, was able to get me out of the auditorium very quickly. He said there was a song and dance that was going on at the time, but I was sorry to hear (it had to be stopped). Thanks to all the people who were wishing me well, but I'm fine."

Mr Reardon is currently in Mater Hospital waiting on an MRI scan.

"It was an epileptic seizure and I just blacked out. I'm not epileptic at all, it was completely out of the blue. They're just trying to find out know is it something I'm going to have to live with or is it an isolated incident. I've had an ECG and a CAT scan."

He said he blacked out after the seizure but he remembers the first half of the play.

"I was enjoying it immensely. It was terrific."

After Mr Reardon fell ill, the lights came and the show stopped.

"There were medics behind me. Thanks to them, I'm very grateful to them."

Mr Reardon's son-in-law, boxer Andy Lee, was there to help.

"We go to the theatre quite a lot. We go to a lot of plays," Mr Lee told Joe Duffy.

"Throughout the day and during the interval, there were no signs that he was ill. The play was ongoing, and it was in the middle of a dance when I felt a violent shake behind me. The lady behind Daniel stood up and she was quite distressed. I just scooped Daniel up in my arms and carried him down the stairs and into the wings. About four people followed us. Luckily two of them were doctors. I have their numbers and I've been meaning to give them a call, I've been waiting to see what the results are."

Mr Lee said that he thought his father-in-law was having an allergic reaction.

"I thought it was the allergy. I picked him up and it was quite obvious when we got to the wings that it wasn't an allergy. He was shaking quite violently, he was rigid and his jaw was shut. He was breathing the whole time, I was trying to keep him from choking on his tongue. The doctors were a great help. After a few minutes he was calm and breathing, but still not responsive. Gradually over time, he started to relax more and more and was responsive. Then the ambulance came and they were excellent as well. Within an hour he was fine."

Mr Reardon said he was "moved by everyone involved" and expressed his sincere gratitude.

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