Football fan utters first words in four months about rival team

Man who suffered a stroke aged just TWENTY stuns nurses by uttering his first words in four monthS with a joke about his rival team

  • Darren Thomson, a die-hard Hiberian FC fan, said: ‘Hearts are s**t’
  • He heard nurses say they supported Hearts, which triggered his team loyalty
  • Scans revealed he had a stroke and a blood clot the size of a 10p coin in his brain
  • He was at home watching YouTube videos with a friend when it happened

A 22-year-old football fan shocked nurses when he spoke for the first time in four months to joke about a rival football team. 

Darren Thomson, from Galashields, Scottish Borders, was rushed to hospital in June last year when he lost all feeling in the left side of his body while watching YouTube with a friend.

Scans revealed he had suffered a stroke and had a blood clot the size of a 10p coin on his brain. 

He went through several operations but was unable to speak due to brain damage and having a tube down his throat while in intensive care. 

Darren Thomson, 22, suffered a stroke when he was 20 years old while at home watching YouTube videos with a friend

He suddenly couldn’t feel the right side of his body and was rushed to hospital where he had an operation to drain some fluid from the brain. Scans also revealed a blood clot the size of a 10p coin in the brain

He spoke again for the first time in four months when he heard nurses saying they supported Hearts (in red) rather than his favourite team Hiberian (green). He blurted out: ‘Hearts are s**t’

The Hiberian FC fan, however, re-discovered his voice when he heard nurses talking about rival team Hearts.

Hearing them talk about how they supported his rivals, the shock caused him to blurt out: ‘Hearts are s**t’. 

And five months since his first words the young man’s speech is getting better every day.

He’s still in a wheelchair but hoping to be on his feet to be his dad’s best man at his wedding later this year.

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Darren said: ‘It was so scary not being able to speak. It’s so hard to put into words.

‘I was so confused, I didn’t even know what was happening or anything.

‘But when I had a Hearts doctor looking after me, someone had said ‘what’s Hearts’ and I just said ‘Hearts are s**t’.

‘It just came to me, I was so happy that I spoke out, everyone laughed.

‘It felt so good to just hear my own voice again.’

The Hiberian FC fan spoke his first words four months after the stroke. He had had difficulty speaking due to brain damage and time spent in intensive care, where he had a tube down his throat for 12 weeks 

Darren, who is still in a wheelchair, has got much of his speech back and hopes to be back on his feet to be best man for his dad’s wedding day

Darren, from Galashields, Scottish Borders, had to have a second operation after he was taken off life support

Darren was at home when he started to feel a headache at the back and right side of his head.

The Hibs fan thought nothing of it until minutes later when he couldn’t feel the left side of his body.

His friend, Michael Alison, 21, lifted up Darren’s left arm but when he let it go it fell to his side.

He called Darren’s dad Phil, 55, who rushed to the scene and took Darren to Borders General Hospital where medics discovered he had suffered a stroke and bleed in his brain.

He was transferred to the Edinburgh Western General were medics drained the cerebrospinal fluid – a clear and colourless body fluid found in the brain and spinal cord.

He was transferred back to the Borders General Hospital, from Edinburgh Western General, in October this year, following the stroke in June

Phil, from Galashiels, Scottish Borders, said medics did not think he would make it.

He said: ‘His face had not dropped and he didn’t have slurred speech.

‘I was just confused about what was actually happening because he was also struggling to stand up.

‘That’s why I ended up taking him to the local hospital.

‘But when he was finally rushed to the Edinburgh Western General Hospital no one knew if he would make it and even medics didn’t have faith in the operation going well.

‘It was so frightening to hear all of these negative thoughts.’

After the operation, Darren was put into intensive care with a life support machine for around 12 weeks.

He was taken off life support but needed a second operation to fix the tubes in his brain that would help his body drain the excess fluid naturally. This is because if it built up it could put pressure on the brain and damage it.

Phil, Darren’s father, is his full time carer. ‘It’s difficult being a full-time carer but I’m a positive person,’ he said. ‘He does get frustrated when he can’t go out and see his friends but his brilliant, he doesn’t get down’

Marc McNulty, forward player for the Hiberians, seen in action on March 16 this year

He received the second operation in August and, a few weeks later, the tube down his throat was removed. 

But he still couldn’t speak due to the brain damage.

He was then transferred to the stroke ward at the Borders General Hospital in October.

This is where Darren shocked nurses when he said his first words after the two operations.

Phil explained: ‘He made a funny comment about how terrible Hearts were.

‘This was because most of the nurses there were all Hearts fans.

‘We all couldn’t believe it, I just laughed.’

He was there for five weeks before he returned home in early December last year.

Darren uses a wheelchair and requires a carer 24/7, but said he remains positive due to his dad’s support.

Darren said: ‘My dad’s been unreal. I just think if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be here today.

‘I thank him so much for everything he has done”.

Phil, who is Darren’s full-time carer, said his son hopes he will be able to walk again for his wedding on June 15.

He said: ‘It’s difficult being a full-time carer but I’m a positive person.

‘He does get frustrated when he can’t go out and see his friends but his brilliant, he doesn’t get down.

‘He wants to stand at my wedding so we’ll see.’


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