A LOCAL player, who was hospitalised in the US last month after suffering a cardiac arrest, met his Enniskillen Town teammates before last Friday’s Mulhern Cup final after making a miraculous recovery.
Pauric Kettyles fell ill four weeks ago while holidaying in Los Angeles with partner Chelsea Graham and two friends, Dara Carty and Zoe Coulter.
Mr Kettyles, 24, had surgery to have an internal defibrillator fitted in his heart and has been making steady progress since, but his appearance still came as a shock to his teammates.
“It was unbelievable. We didn’t know that he was coming. We met for soup and sandwiches before the game [in Blake’s of the Hollow] and he walked in. He never said he was coming home,” Town’s joint-manager, James McKenna, said.
“It was a shock when he walked in. Some of the boys had to look twice. Everybody went up and gave him a hug, it was emotional. Everybody’s very fond of Pauric in the group, he’s like everybody’s little brother.”
Despite being devastated after losing the Mulhern Cup 4-3 on penalties to Strathroy Harps in his last appearance for the club, McKenna could see the bigger picture.
“He still has a long way to go, but if someone had of said to you when the news broke that you’d win nothing but you’d get Pauric back for the final, we’ve had taken it all day. There are bigger things in life than football,” he said.
“He’s had a defibrillator fitted in his heart but he hopes to be back playing football. It was great to see him. It’s probably the only positive we can take from the [cup final] day.”
Writing on his Facebook page, Mr Kettyles thanked everyone who supported him and his family while they were in the US as well as those who contributed to his GoFundMe page.
“It has been an overwhelming experience, but to be told my recovery was a miracle [by doctors] was something else!” he wrote.
“Now that I am home, I still have a long journey of recovery ahead of me, but hopefully you will all see me running about in no time.”
To read more.. Subscribe to current edition