Lifestyle Health

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Rugby coach pleads for awareness of epilepsy

Joe Schmidt: son suffered an epileptic seizure Photo: Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile
Joe Schmidt: son suffered an epileptic seizure Photo: Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile

Clodagh Sheehy

IRELAND rugby coach Joe Schmidt has made a personal plea to the public to be aware of epilepsy and familiarise themselves with how to help someone who is having a seizure.

The coach revealed on 'The Late Late Show' how his 10-year-old son, Luke, had an epileptic seizure just yesterday morning.

The seizure lasted more that four minutes and happened while he was at school where he was given emergency medication.

Mr Schmidt wanted to draw attention to an awareness day being held by Epilepsy Ireland on February 10 and said the aim was for people to know what to do if someone was suffering a seizure, saying: "Most of it is just common sense, just making sure someone doesn't hurt themselves by banging against something."

The New Zealand native said the fact that the school knew how to handle Luke when he had a fit "has taken a lot of pressure off us" and his son had recovered completely from yesterday's incident.

The coach also revealed that he had put the disappointment of the recent Ireland--All Blacks match behind him and was looking forward to a successful Six Nations campaign.

His bigger dream is for the Irish rugby team "to get to a semi-final in the World Cup. It would be great to break that history".

He admitted that in the wake of the last-minute defeat by the All Blacks "it was pretty grim in the dressing room" but he was aware he couldn't let the players "fall off the precipice", and the positive to be taken out of it was that it showed what the team was capable of.

Kelly Schmidt, meanwhile, told host Ryan Tubridy that her husband could never sleep the night after a match, saying that whether the team won, lost or drew he "goes over it all night".

Meanwhile, Schmidt will name his squad on Tuesday for the the upcoming Six Nations and confirmed that the team would be captained by Paul O'Connell.

Irish Independent

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