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Former Ireland AM host Mark Cagney reveals he suffered two strokes this year

Mark Cagney has revealed he suffered two strokes earlier this year.

The TV presenter, best known for hosting Ireland AM for almost 20 years, opened up about the scary incident on Newstalk’s The Hard Shoulder with Kieran Cuddihy.

The 64-year-old said he was driving to the supermarket on January 8th when he noticed a ringing “white noise” in his ear.

Mark explained: “I didn’t feel woozy or dizzy but it was this rushing noise… like you’d been at a gig the day before and it hadn’t subsided.”

The broadcaster also felt his spacial awareness was off, and after he entered the shop, he collapsed in front of a staff member.

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“The room just went completely 180 degrees on me… I blacked out, collapsed, dropped. I didn’t topple, I was straight down on my knees and I still have a dent in my knee bone from it.”

“The next thing I remember is a man leaning over me saying ‘sir, sir are you alright are you having chest pains?

“I said no it’s not a heart attack, it’s something in my head… I still hadn’t put two and two together.”

Mark’s daughter collected him from the shop, but he collapsed again when he returned home – and was subsequently rushed to Beaumont Hospital.

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The presenter explained: “The following morning they came in and said ‘you had a pulmonary embolism’, which is a clot in your lung, and I thought ‘okay, it could’ve been worse – but why am I in a stroke ward?’”

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“And the doctor said ‘what you’ve told us doesn’t compute with what we’ve seen so far…’ and then they did a brain MRI and discovered I had a stroke, possibly two strokes.”

“Effectively, it was a small clot in a large vessel, thank god, because if it was the other way around we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

Mark said he was shocked by the doctor’s diagnosis, as he’s always thought he was “as healthy as a horse”.

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“I live like a monk… I don’t smoke, don’t drink, go to bed early, get up early, eat properly, exercise three to four times a week,” he explained.

“Everything they said I should do for recovery I’ve been doing for donkey’s years.”

Mark also revealed he’s suffered with recurring nightmares since the incident, and has lost a quarter of his vision.

However, the 64-year-old said he feels “incredibly lucky” to be alive.

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