Monday, August 09, 2010
Its been a year since the tragic passing of Irish rugby player Stuart Mangan who was paralysed when severely injuring his spine in a tackle in 2008. To remember the inspiring young man, the BBC have made a documentary of his short, but eventful life. That will be aired tonight, so today we pay tribute to him.
At the age of just 24 years, talented flyhalf Stuart was left paralysed from the neck down when he was injured while playing for Hammersmith & Fulham Rugby Club in London on April 26 2008.
Within seconds he went from being a young man who had it all going for him to being one that needed round the clock care and a ventilator to keep him breathing.
"It wasn't anyone's fault. Whatever way my head and neck went, it just cracked," said Stuart afterwards, holding nobody responsible.
He suffered a C-1 spinal fracture as his third vertebrae went over his fourth, causing him to lose all movement immediately, as well as stop his breathing. He was kept alive by a team mate who gave him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until paramedics arrived.
He was left with no movement from the neck down, but suffered no brain damage and despite the limitations that followed, Stuart managed to inspire and touch all around him as he went on with daily life, taking each new day as it came.
He untimely passing was a shock to many as he suddenly contracted a chest infection, and then pneumonia which led to him passing away.
During the 16 months that followed the injury, a moving documentary was made by the BBC that documents his life as he left hospital and had to adapt to having no movement from his head down.
The video below is not the documentary, but was made while Stuart was still alive and features interviews with him as he adjusts to his life after the injury.
Please go to www.stuartmangan.org to find out more and how you can help with the Stuart Mangan Trust . The documentary will be screened tonight, 9th Aug, on RTE1 at 9:30pm .
Note: The documentary will hopefully be available on the RTE Player over the next few days, or if someone in Ireland is able to record it tonight and upload, we can then share it with the world.