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Chris Henry: I was so 'lucky' to live after 'mini stroke'


Chris Henry

Chris Henry

Chris Henry

Ireland flanker Chris Henry has admitted he was terrified after suffering a mini stroke last month, but he feels "very lucky" to have had medical experts on hand so quickly.

A blocked blood vessel in the 30-year-old's brain caused him to have a Transient Ischaemic Attack - or mini stroke - hours before Joe Schmidt's men beat South Africa 29-15 on November 8.

Henry was pulled out of the Test against the Springboks and it was then found he had a hole in his heart - which led to the mini stroke - but he is now on the comeback trail with Ulster after having surgery on the organ last week.


"It's been a scary few weeks to be honest but I feel very lucky that I was in that environment and getting such incredible medical expertise so quickly," he said.

"They got to the bottom of things swiftly and I think that's the most important thing.

"When something like that happens, the unknown is the scary thing and to have clarity on what was going on and having the problem fixed so quickly - for me, I feel very lucky."

At first it was thought he had suffered a severe migraine, but after four days of treatment at the St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin the true cause was confirmed.

Henry described the support he has received from the rugby community during the episode as "overwhelming".

Although Henry knows he will have to be patient during his recovery, he is back in training and already eyeing a spot at the World Cup next year.

"I think that (the World Cup) is a realistic target," he said.

"In my mind, I want to be back by the end of this season.

"Whether that is pushing it too much, we'll just have to wait and see."

He might be boosted by the fact his Ireland team-mate Richardt Strauss was similarly diagnosed with a hole in his heart in October 2013 and was able to play again three months later.