Ulster and Ireland back-row Chris Henry admits he was terrified after suffering a mini stroke last month.
A blocked blood vessel in the 30-year-old’s brain caused him to have a Transient Ischaemic Attack, or mini stroke, hours before Ireland beat South Africa 29-15 on November 8.
Henry was pulled out of the Test against the Springboks and at first it was thought he had suffered a severe migraine.
But after four days of treatment at the St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin, the true cause was confirmed.
It was found he had a hole in his heart, which led to the mini stroke and left Henry fearing the worst.
“It’s been a scary few weeks to be honest but I feel very lucky that I was in that environment and getting such incredible medical expertise so quickly,” he told Ulster’s official website.
“They got to the bottom of things swiftly and I think that’s the most important thing; when something like that happens, the unknown is the scary thing and to have clarity on what was going on and having the problem fixed so quickly for me, I feel very lucky.”
Henry is now on the comeback trail after having surgery last week.
He is back in training and already eyeing a spot at the World Cup next year.
“I think that (the World Cup) is a realistic target,” he told the BBC
“In my mind, I want to be back by the end of this season. Whether that is pushing it too much, we’ll just have to wait and see.”