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Death's door Wife of Limerick man who fell seriously ill two days after his dad’s death tells of ordeal

He has since battled through extensive surgeries and various other complications as his family struggle to raise funds to cover the costs of his care.

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Debbie is pictured with Mark before their ordeal

Debbie is pictured with Mark before their ordeal

Debbie is pictured with Mark before their ordeal

The wife of a Limerick man who fell seriously ill two days after his dad’s death has spoken of their five-month ordeal as he recovers at home.

Debbie Griffin had flown home to Ireland with her husband Mark last December 6 from Spain where they had recently moved.

The couple rushed back to Ireland after receiving a phone call telling them that Mark’s dad Dinny had suddenly passed away.

That very evening Mark (49), who had led an entirely healthy life, was suddenly struck down with an aortic dissection that left him fighting for his life in St James’s Hospital in Dublin.

He has since battled through extensive surgeries and various other complications as his family struggle to raise funds to cover the costs of his care.

Debbie said they had been living on a knife edge for months after Mark fell ill but that he is now in a stable condition at a house they have rented in Limerick.

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Mark was left fighting for his life in hospital

Mark was left fighting for his life in hospital

Mark was left fighting for his life in hospital

Speaking of their ordeal, Debbie recalled how they were in Spain when they got the phone call to say that Mark’s dad had died.

"We were going to come home that week because we knew we wouldn't make it back over for Christmas but Mark’s dad was unsure about that as he was being very cautious regarding Covid", she told sundayworld.com.

"And then we got the phone call on the Friday to say he had passed away suddenly and we were on the same flight on the Sunday that we were initially booked to come back on.

"We flew home for the funeral and got in at about 4pm. At about 8pm Mark had a pain in his chest and I thought it might be stress or something. His parents live near the hospital here in Limerick so we got in the car. But by the time we got around to the hospital he had deteriorated. He was taken off me and rushed through.

“I couldn’t see him because of Covid so a nurse rang me and said, “don’t go anywhere”. They had done a CT scan and basically his artery from his heart all the way down to his organs had shredded.

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“They came out and said he only has a couple of hours to live. I said “what do you mean he has a couple of hours to live? We came home to bury his father. Do you mean I have to bury my husband with his father?” I just couldn't get it. I was told go home and get my family.

Mark was eventually moved to Dublin although Debbie was told there was a chance he would not survive the journey and then, even if he did, there was no guarantee he would make it through the operation. Debbie was too told to come in and say goodbye just in case, but he remained in a coma for five weeks.

“He came around on January 8 which was his father’s birthday,” Debbie recalled. “When I met his doctors they described him as a miracle case.”

Despite the family’s relief they were left with little money as they had left Spain so suddenly.

“When we came back it wasn't that we had loads of cash or anything like that,” Debbie explained. “The kids had clothes for couple of days. Our own lads are 15 and 11 so I had to enroll them in school and get uniforms and then pay for accommodation while we were here. We have to get the bathroom adapted for him and get rehab for him.”

A GoFundMe page set up by Debbie’s friend has raised nearly €20,000 which has been rapidly running out.

“Mark has battled on but if I actually sat down to think about it, I wouldn’t know what was going on,” Debbie added. “I keep asking myself, how did this happen. He was always very fit but now he’s very weak now.

“The kids are doing okay, they’ve had a tough couple months. They're back in school but it has not been easy. For two months we were with the living with fact that Mark could have died.”

In an update on the GoFundMe page Debbie revealed how they have had difficulty accessing a treatments at the moment due to Covid and are waiting on restrictions to ease to attend other treatments such as hydrotherapy.

“Mark is doing well and is being carefully managed by his team of doctors who all say that they can’t believe he’s here,” Debbie added.

The GoFundMe page can be found here.

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