A fit and healthy 21-year-old man has been left paralysed and unable to speak after suffering a sudden stroke while doing push-ups.
Samuel O’Sullivan had dreamed of becoming a police officer before it happened, but was rushed to intensive care.
His family, from Melbourne, Australia, are now appealing for help as he embarks on the “fight of his life”.
It happened on May 27, a week before his 21st birthday, when Samuel began experiencing excruciating pain in his head, leaving him screaming in pain.
His dad Brenden was forced to do CPR as his condition got worse.
Samuel needed emergency brain surgery to control a bleed and remove pressure on his brain, with his anxious family told he might not survive.
It later emerged that he was suffering with Arteriovenous malformation (AVM) – which is caused by tangled blood vessels which connect his arteries and veins in the brain.
He had the condition from birth.
Brenden wrote on a GoFundMe appeal: “They performed a high risk follow up brain surgery within 48 hours to remove the AVM as there was a good chance it could rupture again.
“During both operations we were informed we may lose him on the operating table.”
Samuel needed a breathing tube to be inserted into his wind pipe to keep him alive, and he was kept in ICU for three weeks before he was able to breathe for himself.
He is now being cared for on a neurology ward, where he is paralysed – having to squeeze a family member’s hand to say “yes” or “no”.
His loved ones are desperately trying to raise £55,000 to help expenses including physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.
Brenden wrote: “Sam has a knack of making people smile and is compassionate, has a great deal of empathy for others and is a most respectful young man.
“He had dreams like like everyone else of owning his own home. For a young man, [he] had his head screwed on and had a clear eye on his future.
“Sam is in the fight of his life and is an inspiration to all of us but needs help along his journey.”