Heath Ryan’s Missive About his Stroke

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Heath Ryan and Regardez Moi at the Rolex FEI World Cup. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Heath Ryan and Regardez Moi at the Rolex FEI World Cup. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

SYDNEY, Australia, May 25–Heath Ryan, Australian Olympic, World Games and World Cup team event and dressage rider provided this latest description of what caused a stroke while he was at a recent Sydney area event after returning from the FEI World Cup Dressage where he competed with his Olympic mount, Regardez Moi after spending time at the barn of Steffen Peters, the 2009 World Cup champion, in San Diego, Calif.

Ryan, unreservedly optimistic not ony about himself and his horses but also Australia’s place in the dressage world and imbued with what Americans call an A-type personality issued this reply to the many get well wishes he received:

“I am back home today, Monday 25th May and being admitted back into hospital , Lake Macquarie Private for a hole operation in my heart.

“Basically what happened was I had a clot in my leg, courtesy of flying back from LA on the 28th April. Apparently clots happen in about 40% of flyers but usually goes to the heart and then back to the lungs where they dissolve and are never heard of again.

“Apparently 25% of people have a hole in the heart, and most of these people will never know.

“However, if all the stars freakishly line up then the clot can slip through the hole instead of going back down to the lungs, get in your arterial system and visit the brain. Bugger me, that’s what happened.

“The result was a stroke at 6.15 am on Sunday 17th May. Pretty harmless really, but scared the hell out of me and I did cop some brain damage, much to Rozzie’s amazement.

“Basically the doctors say that there is nothing they can do about the stroke and that I should get off my backside and do physio and get back to normal as soon as possible.

“Every morning when I wake up, I have improved out of sight. I spend most of the day feeling drunk and weave my way down pathways much to everyone else’s horror. People in the distance I can see two of, but anyone close, I now have single vision.”