“I would rather it happen to me than my other teammates,” said 11-year-old Lurgan schoolboy Shea Murphy who was seriously injured during a football match in Spain.
The talented Lurgan Town player was taking part in a special international tournament in Salou when he was badly injured.
Though Shea, a pupil at St Francis’ Primary School, remains in intensive care at a hospital in Barcelona, his father Tuda Murphy has high hopes for his recovery.
Tuda explained: “He was in nets. I thought he was just winded but he went down.”
He said the Spanish equivalent of St John’s Ambulance were quickly on hand. “They got him to hospital in Salou straight away.”
Shea had a scan and doctors there sent him straight to one of the top children’s hospitals in Barcelona.
The bleeding has stopped. He is coming aroundTuda Murphy
“He has a fractured or torn kidney,” Tuda explained.
His dad, who was on the sidelines cheering his son on, said Shea has been in Intensive Care since Saturday evening and praised the hospital for their care.
“The bleeding has stopped. He is coming around. He should be here another couple of weeks but he won’t be able to play football for another two months,” said Tuda, a former international player for the Cayman Islands.
Mum Nadine, who plays for Crusaders and works for the Irish Football Association, jetted out yesterday afternoon to be with her son.
Tuda said: “Oh my gosh when he was down I thought he was just winded.”
He said Shea is so disappointed he is not going to be playing in the NIBFA Cup Final. “He said he would rather it have happened to him than another member of the team,” said Tuda, adding: “They are a close-knit team.”
“The hospital has been brilliant,” said Tuda.
“There is a language barrier but a couple of nurses speak a little English. There is one nurse who spent a year in Galway and who has become our best friend,” he said.
Tuda and his wife, who live in Lurgan with Shea and their other son Luca (3), wanted to pay tribute to Karen Emerson also from Lurgan who carried out a collection to help the family through the next few weeks.
“It could be a while before the insurance comes through. The collection has been a massive help. It means an awful lot to us.”
A post on Lurgan Town website said: “All at Lurgan Town send their love and best wishes to U12 player Shea Murphy who suffered a ‘fractured kidney’ whilst representing the club in the Barcelona Cup.
“Shea is having to spend some time in hospital in Spain until he is strong enough to travel home. You are in our thoughts young man and we can’t wait to see you back on the field again.”