Adam is twenty-one years of age. He has lived in Co. Kildare all his life and is a proud Lilywhite! Adam attended Two Mile House National school from 2000-2008 before completing Secondary School in Patrician Brothers, Newbridge.
Adam has always been very passionate about sport from a young age which is demonstrated by his countless sporting achievements over the years. He played underage rugby with Naas RFC, won the prestigious Leinster Secondary Schools soccer Cup (2014) and most notably excelled in club GAA playing competitively on the underage Kildare county team and at a senior club level. One of Adam’s proudest moments is being part of the Senior Two Mile House (TMH) team who made history as the first club in Kildare to ever win an All-Ireland Club Championship. Adam was the top scorer of this historic match scoring 2-2 in his favourite position as number 14 full forward. He was lucky to share this amazing win with fantastic team mates including his three brothers, friends from his local village and school. It was a very proud day for the Burke family, TMH GAA supporters, the villagers and wider Kildare communities that will be no doubt cherished for a long time to come.
It is heart-breaking to think just three years later Adam nearly died for his club while playing the game he is so passionate about.
Adam was excited to pursue a career option and see what the future held. He planned to start university in September 2016 and had shown great interest in studying veterinary or agriculture science/farming after successful transition year placements in these areas. It was always fascinating to hear Adam sharing stories from his experiences helping to treat large animals and his great love for pets continues to this day.
Adam is a loyal family man and has a very close relationship with his parents and siblings. Being the youngest of seven Adam has been always doted on. Adam is a proud, independent man with a great strength of character who has always known his own mind. He is known by many for his great sense of humour, generosity, caring and considerate nature. Thankfully Adam’s personality has not been affected by the stroke so he is still the same man we all know and love.
Who is Adam?
Adam suffered a devastating Stroke resulting from an injury during a GAA football match while playing for his local TMH club on 20th July 2016. The severity of the stroke suffered by Adam during this game was life-threatening and his family were given a 20% chance survival rate by the medics. Thankfully for Adam’s incredible fitness level and immense strength of character coupled with the fantastic medical expertise of the hospital staff he did indeed survive. He is undoubtedly an inspiration to all who know him.
The impact of this accident on the pitch a year ago has left Adam with significant challenges. The stroke caused paralysis of his right arm and hand, weakness of his right leg, increased fatigue and crucially has impacted on the area of the brain that controls language and speech.
Adam spent two weeks in an induced coma in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in Beaumont Hospital. Imagine one minute you are in the fullness of your health playing a sport you love with teammates you grew up with. Then, two weeks later you wake up in an ICU, paralysed throughout your right-hand side, lines and tubes coming out of everywhere, breathing with oxygen support, being fed through a tube and you are not able to speak. Adam woke up in a living nightmare.
Adam spent three months in Beaumont Hospital, engaging in gruelling multi-disciplinary rehabilitation before beginning a further three-month intensive rehabilitation stint in the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH), Dun Laoghaire. Adam worked tirelessly and with the help of his dedicated therapists has made wonderful gains. He has managed to surpass all expectations, for example, from being bed and wheelchair bound for months to walking again. However, he still has a long way to go. Adam has subsequently transferred home and is engaging with community rehabilitation. He is doing well but we really need to raise funds to ensure he can access the intensive therapy sessions he needs.
What Happened to Adam?
As shown by Adam’s great progress to date he has good rehabilitation potential but needs intensive and specialised neurological rehabilitation during this crucial early stage. The goal is to be able to facilitate the supplementary therapy input required, be it in Ireland or by participating in rehabilitation camps abroad.
The brain has the ability to heal and make new vital connections/links. Research shows the younger the brain, the better this process can work to help re-mould and heal the brain. This process can go on for several years.
Adam needs to continue this intensive therapy for the foreseeable future. He requires physiotherapy to keep his right side supple especially his right arm and hand. With advances in medicine and technology, there are aids and robotics available to help improve the function in his right arm and hand. Ongoing physiotherapy will also help Adam's leg which is still weaker than his left side.
Intensive Speech and Language Therapy blocks are required to help Adam. Improvements in speech would help Adam to participate in everyday life while enhancing his quality of life and confidence.
Occupational Therapy is required to continue to help Adam regain skills and use equipment to be as independent as possible in day-to-day life.
It is estimated that the cost of Adam’s future rehabilitation including Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech & Language Therapy along with life adaptations will be in excess of one million euro. A specific committee and a Legal Trust Account has been set up to plan and coordinate this fundraising initiative. All funds Donated with GoFundMe, Registered with Pop Up Races or Sponsored for this fundraiser will go into the Legal Trust Fund Account. Please support Adam by Donating here.
We would love if you could register for the walk/run and join us on September 30th 2017 for a family day of fun. Tickets are €25 and include a t-shirt and entry to the BBQ that evening. The BBQ will be followed by a celebrity GAA Panel hosted by Marty Morrissey with special guests Davy Fitzgerald, Joe Brolly, Michael Duignan and Tomás Ó Sé. Purchase here.
If you cannot make the walk/run or would like to donate outside of the cost of the run we would greatly appreciate any added support by clicking here. All donations no matter how big or small will go a huge way in helping Adam engage in further multidisciplinary therapy and make improvements to enhance his quality of life in the future.
Adam has been a true warrior throughout this entire catastrophic experience. He has demonstrated strength and bravery beyond his years and is an inspirational man to all who know and love him. In Greek mythology they wrote about great warriors who fought hard battles and achieved great victories against unbelievable odds. Adam Burke has been such a warrior. Fierce battles would happen which would leave some fallen warriors on the battlefield. The Greek armies were hard and tough but extremely loyal to one another, so came the Latin phrase "Nemo Resideo". Nowadays we hear this phrase more often from the military; the translation means "We will leave no one behind". This is our hope now that the wider GAA community appreciate that one of their own has fallen on the field of play, but will not be left behind and with their assistance Adam will make a great recovery.
To find out more about Adam’s story please watch the video here.