Monday 19 February 2018

How are Brazil doing? asks teen waking from coma

Oisin Merritt and his girlfriend Josephine O’Neill.
Oisin Merritt and his girlfriend Josephine O’Neill.

Greg Harkin

A YOUNG GAA star left in a coma after a holiday island fall shocked doctors by waking up and asking: "How are Brazil doing in the World Cup?"

Finn Harps U-19 player Oisin Merritt suffered severe head injuries in the resort of Santa Ponsa, Mallorca, four weeks ago.

His family, from Stranorlar in Co Donegal, has been praying at his bedside ever since – amid warnings by Spanish doctors in Palma that he may not recover from serious brain injuries.

"Oisin started to eat and drink water for the first time yesterday afternoon and has continued this today," said his sister Tasha in a statement released by Finn Harps football club.

"Today Oisin started to speak and say his first words to me.


"He is asking about the World Cup and how Brazil are doing, as he has a bet on!

"He is looking for a TV in his room. He has a long recovery ahead, and doctors came in this afternoon to us and said he is like a second birth, born again, that he is like a miracle."

She added: "Thank you everyone so much for your prayers and good wishes."

Oisin (19) was treated in hospital for several brain injuries, a broken jaw and a punctured lung.

He was on the Spanish island for a week's holidays with friends from the Stranorlar and Ballybofey areas when the accident happened on June 8.

They had all been due to return home the next day.

His parents Gary and Rose and his girlfriend Josephine O'Neill flew out to Mallorca to be by his bedside.

The teenager works at the Villa Rose Hotel where colleagues have held several fundraising events to help support his family during their stay in Spain.

Irish Independent

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