Rugby

Wallaby great partially blind

2012-05-02 07:35
Michael Lynagh (File)

Brisbane - Australian rugby legend Michael Lynagh said on Wednesday his sight has been severely damaged by a stroke but admits he is lucky to be alive.

The 48-year-old, a former Wallabies captain and World Cup winner regarded as one of the sport's all-time greats, was rushed to hospital with headaches and blurred vision two weeks ago.

He was released on Tuesday and on Wednesday addressed the media, speaking clearly, looking fit, and able to walk.

But he said he was finding it hard to cope with a 45 percent loss of sight in his left eye.

"My brain has been damaged in certain places," he told reporters.

"Forty-five percent of sight to the left has been lost, hopefully over time my eyesight will improve."

Lynagh, who is based in Britain, was in Brisbane on a visit when he fell ill during a meal and a couple of beers with friends. He said he laughed at a joke and choked, and when he stopped he could not see.

A split wall in an artery in the back, right-hand side of his neck caused the stroke which neurologist Rob Henderson said was rare in a fit person of his age, but often fatal.

"I understand how lucky I am. I'm just very, very fortunate," said Lynagh.

"As Rob said to me, 'you haven't just dodged a bullet; you've dodged a cannonball'."

Lynagh won 72 caps for Australia in the 1980s and 1990s as well as having a distinguished state career for Queensland.

He was part of Australia's Grand Slam winning team in 1984 and a key player in the Wallabies' 1991 World Cup win.

Lynagh captained Australia from 1993 to 1995 and held the world points scoring record when he retired with 911. He also held the world record for most conversions (140).

Read more on:    michael lynagh  |  rugby
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