Community raises funds for 'resilient' 24-year-old who suffered stroke following routine operation

Community raises funds for 'resilient' 24-year-old who suffered stroke following routine operation

A GoFundMe page has been set up for Ryan Cantwell, who at just 23 years old, suffered an ischemic stroke following a day-case routine shoulder operation in November 2020. Pic: Elliot Cantwell

OVER €40k has been raised in support of a 24-year-old from Cork who suffered an ischemic stroke last year following a routine shoulder operation.

A Go Fund Me page has been set up for Ryan Cantwell, who at just 23 years old, suffered an ischemic stroke.

The stroke has left Ryan with both cognitive and physical impairments, and he has been diagnosed with expressive and receptive aphasia, meaning that he has trouble with saying and understanding spoken words.

The right-hand side of his body is partially paralysed, and as a result, he has limited function of his right arm, hand and foot.

Following the stroke, Ryan was initially confined to a bed and was the youngest patient on the stroke ward with Covid-19 restrictions making visits from family members more difficult.

However, Ryan’s resilience has shone through and with great progress already made, he is now back at home with his family.

In order to regain his independence, Ryan will need to adapt his way of living and continuously work on improving his physical, mental and cognitive health.
In order to regain his independence, Ryan will need to adapt his way of living and continuously work on improving his physical, mental and cognitive health.

Ryan has been described as an active young man and a proud member of the Blackrock National Hurling Club.

The 24-year-old studied Nutritional Science in CIT before progressing to a Master’s in food microbiology at University College Cork (UCC) in September 2020.

The incident has changed Ryan’s life and though he has made excellent progress so far, many challenges still lie ahead.

The fundraiser will help to support him in his rehabilitation, including ongoing physiotherapy and the purchase of a suitable modified car.

Speaking to The Echo, Ryan’s brother, Elliot Cantwell described the response so far as “incredible”.

“We weren’t expecting to raise all of the money say, until September or October so the fact that we’re nearly there already is just amazing,” he said.

“Certainly, my parents are really so grateful to everyone who has made a donation. It’s just been fantastic.” 

Despite the traumatic experience of suffering the brain injury, Ryan is determined to return to education and to complete his Master’s degree at UCC.

“He’s very courageous, he’s resilient and his big thing is being able to get back into college in September,” said Elliot.

Elliot Cantwell gave a special thanks to the fundraising committee established by the Blackrock Hurling Club who he said have done outstanding work with the fundraiser.

To donate, visit The Ryan Cantwell Fund.

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