In June 2015, former All Ireland winning Tipperary hurler (1971), John Kelly (age 69) made a trip to the US to visit his son. On the flight home he became unwell and required oxygen. On arrival to Dublin he was brought straight to Beaumont Hospital. He was initially diagnosed with pneumonia and a clot on his right lung but when John continued to have complications with his recovery, a further brain CT scan revealed a posterior fossa brain tumour.
John underwent brain surgery in August 2015. The position of the tumour on his brain and its removal resulted in impairment of his senses, damage to the nerves in his tongue resulting in speech impairment, problems with his ability to swallow and respiratory issues. He had a tracheostomy and at one stage it was thought he would require a laryngectomy but through careful management of his condition, this was averted.
In total, John spent a year and a half in Beaumont Hospital due to further recurrent infections and issues related to management of his blood pressure and breathing. However, his extended stay in Beaumont provided time for him to receive enough rehab that when he was eventually discharged from the hospital in December 2016 he was able to go home without a home care package.
Honour Your Heroes Award
John thanked Mr John O’Rourke, Consultant Anaesthetist to receive an Honour your Heroes Award and says, “He went beyond the normal call of duty, he inspired me to have confidence and hope that someday I would get home and he kept that light shining for me”.