‘Recuperation was tough’ – Man rushed to hospital with stroke just two days after proposing to girlfriend

Andrew Carr (31) suffered a stroke 48 hours after proposing to girlfriend

Featured on: Independent.ie

A man who was rushed to hospital with a stroke just two days after proposing to his girlfriend, is backing a major fundraising drive for the charity which helped him recover. 

Andrew Carr, 31, popped the question on Valentine’s Day last year – but 48 hours later, was in Dublin’s Beaumont Hospital, where doctors found a hole in his heart. 

A year later, he and fiancée Bernadette Hogan are planning their wedding and Andrew is lacing up his runners for next weekend’s Irish Heart Foundation’s annual 5k Love Run. 

Andrew, from Coolock, had just finished a busy day at work in Trinity College last February when his speech began to slur and he felt numbness on his left side.  

A CT scan and follow up MRI confirmed the stroke and he remained in hospital for eight days. 

“I wasn’t the same person after I had my stroke. I wasn’t thinking like I used to,” he said. 

“Recuperation was tough, memory was affected and I still have to work on my speech; it is 97% perfect but when I get tired it starts to get muddled, the fatigue is also very difficult.” 

Andrew Carr with his fiancée Bernadette. The couple are planning their wedding a year after Andrew suffered a stroke and was rushed to hospital, where doctors discovered a hole in his heart. He is preparing for the Irish Heart Foundation’s annual 5k Love Run on Valentine’s weekend. Sign up at irishheart.ie.

Andrew was referred to the Irish Heart Foundation’s Stroke Connect service, which he described as “a light in the darkness.” 

“It’s good to listen to someone who has been there. It’s nice that someone can say how you are feeling when you don’t know how to say it yourself. It was a good opportunity to build up your confidence. 

“After I had the stroke I didn’t have the confidence to talk. The group allowed me to learn from other people. That was invaluable,” Andrew said. 

After being discharged from hospital, he collected the engagement ring for Bernadette – and last September, surgeons successfully closed the hole in his heart. 

“When I was in the hospital I just wanted to get home to show Bernadette that I was OK but I don’t think I would have done that well without the service afterwards,” he added.   

Almost one year on from his stroke, Andrew is recovering well and has started back at work as a member of the Erasmus Team at Trinity College Dublin.  

He is also being kept busy with preparations for the wedding, which is due to take place in Dublin in September. 

He said he was very grateful for the support he continues to receive from the Irish Heart Foundation and would encourage others to support the charity next weekend.    

*Register for the charity’s Love Run for €25 at irishheart.ie and receive a training plan, tips and a beanie. If you are unable to take part, donations – personal or corporate – can be made at the same site.  

It can be undertaken by participants wherever they choose across Ireland over Valentine’s weekend – February 12-13. 

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