Duffy leaves intensive care

Defender moved to high-dependency unit

Duffy: Moved from intensive care

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Shane Duffy has left intensive care as he continues his recovery from life-saving surgery.

The 18-year-old Everton and Republic of Ireland starlet lost two-thirds of his blood supply after rupturing his hepatic artery during a training game on Friday.

It was a freak accident following a seemingly innocuous collision with Irish amateur team goalkeeper Adrian Walsh that caused a laceration to his liver.

He was attended to on the pitch by team surgeon Professor John O'Byrne and team doctor Alan Byrne before being rushed to nearby Mater Hospital where surgeon Gerry McEntee performed an emergency operation.

Duffy has now been moved from the intensive care unit to the high-dependency unit at Mater Hospital.

Frightened

Reflecting on the incident, Dr Byrne said: "Shane was very frightened. He thought he was going to die.

"There was 3.6 litres of blood in his abdomen that has leaked from this artery, and he had received over 20 units of blood.

"You are pouring it in one way and it is leaking out the other way.

"All you can do at that stage is put as much fluid in as you can because you are trying to keep the circulation going to the brain and to the heart.

"[FAI surgeon Professor] John O'Byrne rang me a couple of times from the ambulance and he thought he was going to die because you cannot replace the loss of this fluid and blood.

"He had lines going in everywhere in A&E to try to maintain his blood pressure."

Dr Byrne revealed he knew within seconds of running on to the pitch at Malahide United's Gannon Park home that he was dealing with a serious injury.

He said: "I made my mind up probably 30 seconds into it. I just knew this was odd.

"I wasn't quite sure of the nature of it. He was in so much pain and I needed to know where that pain was.

"After a while, he was able to say it was near his lower breastbone, so what you think is the worst case scenario - the sac that covers your heart is behind there and you can bleed into that from a trauma, collapse your lungs, break your sternum.

"I noticed a bruise, a mark on his lower abdomen where your liver is, but I just knew we were in trouble.

"I wanted to see if he was stable - his pulse was okay and his heart and lungs, and I just knew we had to get to hospital quickly."

Progress

However, Duffy has made rapid progress since Friday, much to the delight and relief of both his family and the Republic set-up.

Dr Byrne said: "We went in to visit him yesterday. Myself and Ciaran [Murray], the physiotherapist, went in, and he said, 'I hope I wasn't too much trouble'.

"The news has been good, a lot has changed in 36 hours.

"On Friday night, we weren't talking about football, we were talking about would this young boy survive, would he live?"

Everton chairman Bill Kenwright and manager David Moyes have been in close contact, and dispatched their own medical staff to Dublin.

Duffy faces a lengthy period of recovery and it is unclear just when he might be able to think about getting back on the field.

Asked just how long, Dr Byrne said: "In general terms, it will be six to eight weeks. I don't think there will be any pressure for him to be going back.

"He needs to get back to his family and recover from a huge, major incident and drama, that's the first thing.

"It's too difficult to answer that question. When he is fit and has recovered from his operation and everything, then we will make that decision."