A TEENAGER who was at death’s door with a brain haemorrhage is back on the rugby field.
Liahm Thurtle, 16, returned to play for his beloved St Josephs Sharks after 16 months recovery from a lifesaving operation.
And he was able to help his team to a 26-12 victory at Clayton.
Liahm, of Clifton, was delighted to be back in action with the club’s Under 17 side.
And so too was his anxious dad, Andy, who as assistant coach was on the sidelines.
Liahm suffered from a brain haemorrhage in September 2011.
He had complained of constant headaches and his mum Debbie took him to see a GP. The youngster was immediately referred to Calderdale Royal Hospital but collapsed, and was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary.
There he underwent an emergency operation which lasted for several hours.
His father said: “It was touch and go for a time and it was very scary”.
The Rastrick High School student spent some days in the hospital’s intensive care unit and weeks in hospital before being allowed home.
He has gradually recovered his strength and was able to return to school.
Mr Thurtle said: “It is so good to see the way he has recovered so quickly. We haven’t felt this relaxed in a long time.
“This year is a big year for Liahm in so many ways. He wanted to get back out playing rugby as soon as possible. It is what he loves. Also it is his GCSE year and he has a real aptitude for maths and would like to go on and be a maths teacher.
“School was a little tiring for him at first but he just gets stronger every day. He really needs this to help things just get back to normal for him.
“It sounds so flippant but it is just one of those things and it could happen to anyone.
“We are just glad that Liahm has made such a speedy recovery and a lot of that is due to how fit and strong he was before it happened,” said his dad.
Liahm’s return to rugby action finally happened after many months of recuperation.
As he recovered he was able to get down to Fartown to watch the team play and gradually got the chance to help out with scoring and with water bottles.
Club spokesman Adam Swift said: “It was obvious he was frustrated at not being able to play.
“Then just before Christmas he received the all-clear from the specialist and put on his boots for the first time at Clayton.
“It was a nervous time for his family and especially his dad, who was acting as assistant coach, but Liahm came through the game well, putting in some good tackles and taking a number of runs up field.
“It was good to see him back.”