'It's given me something to look forward to' - Man who lost leg on finding hope through the amputee football team
A former League of Ireland footballer who lost a leg in a serious accident has said that the amputee team has given him something to look forward to.
Stefan Balog was left fighting for his life when his leg went through a glass door in his home on June 2017.
He admits that he started "closing off" from others after the incident but the prospect of getting back on the pitch with the Irish amputee football team has turned things around for him.
Stefan (20) told Independent.ie: "On the night of June 17 I was at home and my leg went through a glass door, I pulled it back out and I ripped the ligaments, muscle, nerves and the main artery.
"I can't remember much about the pain but I lost so much blood, nearly three litres.
"The doctors spent a week trying to save the leg and they took a nerve out of my left leg, the good leg, to try and help the blood run through it again."
Stefan, who lives in Santry, Dublin, had three operations within a week but the blood wasn't flowing and it was starting to rot.
He said: "After the third operation they gave me the choice, 'You can keep the leg and be in a wheelchair for the rest of your life or get it amputated.'
"I said I wanted to keep it and then they came back and said they'd have to amputate it or I could have died."
Stefan has been football mad since he was a child and was playing for Bohemians Football Club before his accident.
Earlier this month his former club played a match against the Irish amputee team, who he now plans to join.
Stefan, who currently alternates between using crutches and a wheelchair, said: "I'm just sad, I miss football.
"I told myself I can't let myself down because that's the worst thing you can do.
"There's good news too, I'm going to join the Irish amputee football team so I'll still be able to play football.
"They said that once my leg is healed enough they want me on the team.
"There's a league and you play for Ireland and can travel the world, you'll just be playing on crutches.
"It's given me something to look forward to and I can't wait to start with them.
"After the accident I didn't really want to talk to anyone, it felt like I was in a dark room, I was closing myself off.
"I never would have thought something like this could happen to me."
Stefan, who also plans return to his job as a chef when his leg is healed, said he is now looking forward to the future.
He said: "I've received loads of support, from my job, my family, my friends. It's been good to have that."