STRANORLAR man Oisin Merritt will continue to defy the odds when he lines out at Finn Park in a friendly match this Saturday.
Merrritt sustained life-threatening injuries and went into a come after falling from a balcony while on holiday in Majorica back in 2014 and went into a coma.
Doctors in the Son Espases Hospital in Palma told his family to say their goodbyes as they did not think he would survive.
However, a sudden drop in his brain pressure stopped the life support machine from being turned off, and a month later he awoke from the coma.
That was the first step on his road to recovery and he has made a lot of progress since then.
Merritt played for Harps’ Under 19 and Reserve teams before his injury and this Saturday, he will line out for the ‘Fans Behind the Nets’ team as they take on the ’54 crew; in a fundraiser at Finn Park at 6pm.
“I was told that I would never walk again or talk, but I did. I was told that I would never play sports again, but I keep defying the odds,” Oisin told the Donegal News this week.
“It was very important in my recovery that I treated every small step as a milestone.
“It was a big day when I could walk 10 metres without a wheelchair, and then 20 metres.
“Another milestone was when I could go back to my upstairs bedroom.
“My main goal was to get back playing football, and I’ll get back on the pitch this Saturday. I’m mad to get going now.”
The 22-year-old has got his life back on track, and has just returned from a holiday in Thailand. He plans to go to college in Blanchardstown IT at the end of the summer, where the end goal is to qualify as a sports psychologist.
He was given the green light to return to playing football back in April, and while there are certain limitations, he is back enjoying his sport again.
“So far things are going good. Because of the nature of my brain injury I qualify for the Irish Paralympic team.
“I have been going up to Dublin every third week to train with them and there’s a World Cup in Argentina in September.
“I’m hoping to be in the team for that. I’m part of a 20-man squad at the moment, but that will be cut on Monday.
“Hopefully I will make it. It would be some journey to go from a coma to the World Cup.”
Harps boss Ollie Horgan said the Dundalk native’s decision to return for a second spell at the club was...