IN October last year St Joseph’s rugby league player Liahm Thurtle underwent life-saving surgery after collapsing with a brain haemorrhage.
Now the 16-year-old is fighting fit, back at school and itching to get back out on the rugby pitch, writes Charlotte Henbest.
Complaining of a severe headache and drowsiness he was taken to his GP, who referred him to hospital. He collapsed at Calderdale Royal and was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary for an operation to relieve pressure on the brain.
Just 15-years-old at the time, Liahm was in hospital for three weeks but was out in time to celebrate his 16th birthday at his home in Clifton.
Now he has been given the all clear and an appointment in just over a week’s time will tell him how soon he can get back to rugby training.
Along with his parents Andy and Debbie and sister Hollie, his girlfriend Savannah, who was there when he was taken ill, have all ensured that the family had a great Christmas and that 2012 will be a special year for all of them.
“It is so good to see the way he has recovered so quickly. We haven’t felt this relaxed in a long time,” said Andy.
“This year is a big year for Liamh in so many ways. He wants to get back out playing rugby as soon as possible. It is what he loves. Also it is his GCSE year and he has a real aptitude for maths and would like to go on and be a maths teacher.
“School was a little tiring for him at first but he just gets stronger every day. He really needs this to help things just get back to normal for him and also he does not want this, nor do we, to put him back a year.”
His best friend Aiden Hema from school and his Brighouse Rangers days and his other pals have also been instrumental in his recovery and to make sure he is fighting fit upon his return to St Joseph’s they have been dragging him down to the gym.
“We have been told that they have no idea what caused the haemorrhage. They can’t put a finger on it.
“It sounds so flippant but it is just one of those things and it could happen to anyone.
“We are just glad that Liahm has made such a speedy recovery and a lot of that is due to how fit and strong he was before it happened,” said Andy.