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‘You could wake up and you can’t stand up because you’re in so much pain... the blood loss and the pain – you literally just pass out’

Former Carlow footballer had to call time on her inter-county career prematurely and was later diagnosed with endometriosis 

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Pamela Hayden from Old Leighlin club in Carlow is presented with her graduation medallion by Uachtarán Cumann Peil Gael na mBan, Mícheál Naughton, during the Learn to Lead LGFA Female Leadership Programme graduation. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Pamela Hayden from Old Leighlin club in Carlow is presented with her graduation medallion by Uachtarán Cumann Peil Gael na mBan, Mícheál Naughton, during the Learn to Lead LGFA Female Leadership Programme graduation. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Pamela Hayden from Old Leighlin club in Carlow is presented with her graduation medallion by Uachtarán Cumann Peil Gael na mBan, Mícheál Naughton, during the Learn to Lead LGFA Female Leadership Programme graduation. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

It wasn’t an unusual occurrence for Pamela Hayden to wake-up in pain during the night when she got her period. On one Sunday night in January last year, however, the agony was worse than usual. The following morning, she went to make toast before taking any more painkillers but she collapsed in the kitchen. Her husband, John, caught her before she hit the floor and she was later taken by ambulance to St Luke’s General Hospital, Kilkenny.

A few days previously, Hayden had trained with the Old Leighlin football club in Carlow. She was 40, feeling fit and flying it at training. She had applied to take part in TG4’s Underdogs series for women and after getting through the first screening, she went back training with the club to get fit for the trials.


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