'He hopes to walk again' - Brian Cowen's wife gives update on health
Mary Cowen, wife of former Taoiseach Brian Cowen, has given an update on his health following a bleed to the brain last year.
Speaking to Midlands 103 radio at the Laois Offaly election count over the weekend, Mary said the Clara native is making "slow and steady progress."
Mary attended the count centre in Portlaoise with her daughters as her brother-in-law Barry Cowen was returned to the Dáil for a third time. It was the first time he was elected in the absence of his brother.
The former Fianna Fáil leader is continuing to receive treatment but is no longer in a full hospital setting following a bleed to the brain last July. His wife said crucially that Brian is now starting to see the progress himself.
"He's beginning to see progress now himself which is very encouraging for him, whereas we've seen progress before him because we've been with him from day one when he was very seriously ill.
"He's very encouraged by what he's doing at the moment, he's very determined and hopes to walk again and get out and come home soon," she concluded.
Mary continued to explain that Brian "hadn't been feeling well for a few days" prior to collapsing and suffering a stroke. "He was going to see his consultant in the Beacon on July 4 and was admitted and was going to have a routine procedure the next day and that night, Brian collapsed and had a stroke.
He was transferred quickly to St. Vincent's Hospital in Dublin where Mary says he was resuscitated and transferred to ICU. He remained in Vincent's for five months. "He is now in rehab and that's where he is at the moment." He is now working on his rehabilitation, undergoing various therapies and strengthening up in the gym with various exercises.
Mary said she ignored any negative comments made about her husband in the wake of his health scare and insisted that the overall response was a positive outpouring of well wishes. She thanked those who passed on messages of support to Brian, herself and their family.
She said Brian is looking forward to getting home to Tullamore but admitted medics do not know when that will be possible.
Brian was keeping a close eye on the Laois-Offaly constituency over the weekend where his brother Barry took the second seat. His other party colleague to be re-elected was Sean Fleming TD in Laois. Peter Ormond missed out in the shake-up for the last seat.