Wallabies great Michael Lynagh speaks during a press conference at the Royal Brisbane hospital, Wednesday, May 2, 2012. The 48-year-old was released from hospital after suffering a stroke.
Wallabies great Michael Lynagh speaks during a press conference at the Royal Brisbane hospital, Wednesday, May 2, 2012. The 48-year-old was released from hospital after suffering a stroke. Dan Peled

I dodged a cannonball, says Lynagh

"I didn't just dodge a bullet, I dodged a bloody great big cannonball."

That was the assessment of former Wallaby captain Michael Lynagh on how lucky he was to survive a stroke two weeks ago.

Lynagh walked out of the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital yesterday still able to joke despite his ordeal.

"Rob (neurologist Dr Rob Henderson) mentioned don't do anything stressful or go to the gym yet. I said 'why start now?'," Lynagh quipped.

The former champion fly-half, a London resident, said he knew Lady Luck had been on his side as he had the stroke in Brisbane after his arrival from England.

"As Rob said, I've thought about that (the stroke happening on the plane). I'm very lucky that it happened here and happened when it did," Lynagh said.

Although able to walk out the doors of the hospital, Lynagh still has significant rehabilitation ahead of him.

Doctors said they were hopeful his lost vision - particularly in his left eye - and different sensations felt down his left leg would improve in coming weeks.

One thing still okay was his memory.

Lynagh said he remembered being at a pub to catch up with mates, having a beer, laughing at a story and having a coughing fit at the same time.

Before he knew it he was being rushed to hospital where, luckily, Dr Henderson was on call.

Lynagh (pictured) said he could still recall the traumatic moments of his brush with death in intensive care.

"I remember they were trying to dehydrate me to reduce the swelling in my brain so it wouldn't cause permanent damage," he said.

"It wasn't very comfortable."

Lynagh will not be able to drive a car for some time, but Dr Henderson says the fact the 48-year-old - a 72-Test player and 100-game representative for Queensland - can even walk is staggering.

"Everyone was really worried," Dr Henderson said.

"We've seen people not make it ... it's that type of stroke.

"Michael's co-ordination now is the amazing thing. Most people who have that degree of stroke wouldn't be walking in two weeks," he added.



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