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Irish woman who suffered horrific brain injury sees breakthrough after mum sings Ireland's Call

Irish Mirror logoIrish Mirror 10/08/2018 Louise Walsh
Aisling Brady with her big brother Mark who is reading out Get Well cards sent to her by his Vietnamese pupils © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Aisling Brady with her big brother Mark who is reading out Get Well cards sent to her by his Vietnamese pupils

Worried family members of an Irish woman who suffered a horrific brain injury saw a breakthrough in her recovery after she responded to the rugby anthem Ireland's Call.

Aisling Brady, 27, collapsed when she arrived at a school in Dubai in November 2017 and hit her head on the floor.

While travelling to hospital, she suffered multiple seizures and the first of a number of cardiac arrests, before having a stroke which caused serious brain damage.

The Trim, Meath native was flown home in January and taken to the Mater Hospital, before being moved five weeks ago to the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin.

Determined Aisling is working hard at intensive physiotherapy but currently cannot speak and can only slightly move her arms and legs.

It was only last week that she had her first big breakthrough.

  Ireland's Jonathan Sexton  (Photo by Brian Lawless/PA Images via Getty Images) © PA Images Ireland's Jonathan Sexton (Photo by Brian Lawless/PA Images via Getty Images)

Aisling’s mum Antoinette said: "Aisling always loved rugby and played it in Dubai. They say singing is easier than speaking, so I just sat beside her and started singing Ireland’s Call.

"All of a sudden, I heard her making guttural sounds and making shapes with her lips to mouth 'Ireland'.

"She was so excited to hear her voice so we just kept singing and singing and when we finally stopped, she was beaming.

"She needs to believe things are improving so she needs these little breakthroughs and she has since did it for her dad and brother. It’s quite overwhelming."

Aisling's condition was caused by a pulmonary embolism which had formed in her leg over a period of time, rushing up to her heart and eventually ending up caught in her lungs.

Although staff are hoping for long-term improvements, she is also coming to terms with the news that she will need full-time care for the rest of her life.

Antoinette added: "We’ve set up a system where Aisling nods her head for yes and shakes for no, and frowns for I don’t know.

  © Tempura

"We also have an alphabet chart with the most frequent letters on the top so we will call these out to her and she blinks to choose the letter to help her spell out words.

"She now knows the whole story so has understandably had a few emotional outbursts and is receiving counselling.

"She has lost a bit of her sight which has become a bit blurred but her hearing has become acute.

"She is in the NRC until October, which we are hoping will be extended as we don’t feel it will be long enough to see any developments.

"The staff at the centre are just amazing. I can’t praise them enough and I’m hoping Aisling will get to stay on past her discharge date."

Antoinette thanked family, friends and the wider community for all the help and support since Aisling became ill.

A Gofundme page set up to bring her home and help with costs of care has reached over €144,000 to date.

It can be accessed at https://ie.gofundme.com/bring-aisling-home.

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