AUSTRALIAN RUGBY GREAT Michael Lynagh has been released from hospital as he recovers from a near-fatal stroke.
Lynagh, 48, left the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital on Wednesday, a fortnight after suffering the stroke.
The 1991 Rugby World Cup winner said he had lost 45 percent of the sight from his left eye, which will gradually improve, but was glad to be on the mend.
“I understand how lucky I am. I’m just very, very fortunate. As (neurologist Dr Rob Henderson) said to me, ‘you haven’t just dodged a bullet, you’ve dodged a cannonball.’”
“It’s been a tough couple of weeks. I must say, I’m very pleased to be here.”
The former Saracens fly-half retired in 1998 and lives in London, but was in Brisbane visiting family and friends when the stroke occurred.
Lynagh said he was drinking with friends, and coughed and laughed at the same time as he sipped his beer.
“When I finished that, I opened my eyes and couldn’t see… I tried to shake my head and clear it and it got worse,” Lynagh said.
“I was aware of what was going on around me. One of my schoolmates asked if I should call an ambulance. I said, ‘I think so, you better’.
“It was fairly scary but I had communication and thought, and speech.
“Luckily Dr Rob Henderson was on call when I came in. I went to the ICU unit and was in there for six or seven days. I was jet-lagged, I was tired and had a pretty severe stroke.”
Henderson said he was worried after assessing Lynagh on arrival, and added the 72-time Australia international was fortunate to survive.
“Certainly there was a time we wouldn’t have thought this was quite possible. He split the wall in an artery in the back of the right side of the neck,” Henderson said.
“People die with that stroke where they block that artery. We notice it more in young people. Michael’s not a guy who’s had the typical risk factors for a stroke.
“We’ve seen people before not make it from that type of stroke.”