Drogheda star reveals he waited nine hours in hospital with broken leg before walking out
Drogheda United player Jake Hyland has opened up on the ordeal he suffered in a Dublin hospital after breaking his leg in last October's play-off game with Shelbourne.
Hyland waited for nine hours to be seen by a doctor but was left waiting in a wheelchair until 6am when he decided to go home because there was no indication that he was any closer to the front of the queue on a manic Monday.
The 26-year-old Dubliner went to the Mater Hospital after a dreadful tackle from Shels' player James English cut him down. He was taken by ambulance, but ended up leaving in his mother's car after an agonising wait. It offered him an insight into the conditions in a busy A & E department with Hyland shocked by what he witnessed.
"It was about 8.30 when I broke my leg," says the 26-year-old, "I got an ambulance straight to the hospital and went in for an x-ray and they said the doctors would be with me soon.
"But I was sitting there until 6 in the morning. You don't want to know (what it was like). It's like a different world in there. You may as well have people living there," continues Hyland, who was struck by the amount of people there who appeared to be under the influence of strong substances and looked to have nowhere to go.
"My mother was with me and it got to the stage where I said, 'Look, I have to go' - I wasn't staying there to put up with all of that. My name didn't get called.
"I was sitting there in a wheelchair. Tim Clancy (Drogheda manager) was texting me through the night but then he'd obviously fallen asleep.
"Dermot McKenna, the club liaison officer, texted me at some stage and said, 'Just go, and we'll get you sorted in Drogheda'. But I had been up since 9am that morning and I was running on empty at that stage.
"So I went home, had a shower, and got up to Drogheda and got looked after in the hospital there. They were first class."
That shower was obviously a painful process for Hyland who effectively knew his leg was broken before the x-ray came back, but was still holding out hope it might just have been a severe ankle problem.
However, he was grateful for the support of Drogheda who immediately offered him a contract for the following year. He has started running this week and hopes to be in a position to contribute on the pitch by the end of March.
Drogheda did beat Shelbourne on penalties that night, yet went out to Finn Harps in the next stage of the play-offs and kick off their new campaign this Friday hoping to challenge at the right end of the table.
Hyland spoke about his injury nightmare on the new LOI Weekly Podcast, where he was joined by Shamrock Rovers player Seán Kavanagh who spoke openly about his struggles towards the end of his time in England.
He came back from Fulham last year where he was out in the cold - just four years after his breakthrough to the first team as a 20-year-old.
Kavanagh admitted that his mental health suffered as he spent his afternoons alone blanking calls from concerned family members at home.
"I was nearly at breaking point," says the well-regarded 25-year-old. "When I'm feeling bad, I don't talk to anyone. I would have phonecalls every ten minutes from my Ma or my girlfriend or whatever and I'd rather watch Jeremy Kyle than talk to them on the phone. I just thought that I needed to get away from this."
To hear the podcast with Hyland and Kavanagh, go to independent.ie/podcasts or search LOI Weekly on iTunes or Soundcloud