TERMON AND DONEGAL player Róisin McCafferty has spoken about a traumatic experience of a concussion injury that left her temporarily blind.
McCafferty was speaking on BBC2’s I Lár an Aonaigh programme, during a segment dealing with the impact of concussion injuries in Gaelic football and rugby.
A former Donegal captain, McCafferty played with the Termon ladies team that won the All-Ireland in 2014.
In 2010, while she was studying for her Leaving Certificate, she was playing for Donegal against Monaghan in a challenge game when she sustained the first concussion.
McCafferty plays at midfield these days, but was playing as the goalkeeper that afternoon.
“I went to make a save and the ball and the player’s foot came right at me when I got a kick to the head,” McCafferty told Conall Ó Máirtín.
“The physio did all the checks – memory, co-ordination and balance. I felt fine. However, driving home I didn’t feel right. My mind wasn’t as clear as normal so I got one of the girls to drive my car home.
“That night, I was lying on the couch and couldn’t lift my head off the pillow. My mother could tell that I wasn’t well. I went to hospital that night. I was kept in for observation and got an MRI scan the following morning.
“I was okay apart from my mind. I didn’t feel right. I had a bad pain in my head.
“My mind was foggy and I went temporarily blind. I lost strength in my arms and legs.
“My balance was out of kilter. I couldn’t walk to the bathroom on my own. I wasn’t throwing up, but I had other symptoms of concussion.”
McCafferty was just 18 at the time. After a series of appointments over a three-week spell, McCafferty was given the all-clear and was back in action.
She said: “I love sport and I just wanted to be back playing as Donegal were going well that year. But when I go after a ball, I still get anxious.”
McCafferty suffered a second concussion injury while playing soccer in England, sustaining a blow to her temple.
She recalled how she took a more measured approach to recovery the second time around, following the Return To Play programme, having rushed back from her first injury.
She said: “You don’t return until you’ve made a recovery…You don’t just go straight back into full training, which is what I did. Looking back, I was foolish.”Tags: