Zero Point One Six: living in extra time by Mick Doyle
I still do not know the exact point at which I first became aware; all I can recall is waking up very gradually and becoming increasingly conscious that I was probably in this world, or somewhere else, other than just being dead.
In 1996 Mick Doyle suffered a brain haemorrhage and spent four weeks in a coma. He was lucky enough to wake up and to be able to begin the road back to recovery. This book tells his story of recuperation. A former international rugby player, an Irish rugby coach, a British and Irish Lions coach, a media pundit, Doyle was also lucky enough to be on of the 0.16 per cent of people who recover from a brain haemorrhage. Hence the title of the book.
He had already written a biography before the haemorrhage, Doyler so this book is purely concerned with the haemorrhage and his recovery. It is also partly psychological, as Doyle looks inwards and tries to explain his own recovery process. Not to mention what he sees as the reasons for his illness. Like many rugby players of his time, the culture of drink played an important part in his life, and when he retired from the game he didn’t retire from food. And then there was the smoking.
Although on one level this is somewhat of an uplifting book, detailing as it does Doyle’s road back to near normality, it is also tinged with sadness, as in 2004 Mick Doyle died in a car crash.
The book is written in an almost conversational style, with plenty of anecdotes and almost idle thoughts, but it is always entertaining. And I especially liked the chapter at the end giving the insights of Doyle’s wife and showing the impact his haemorrhage had on her, as well as emphasising how much her husband changed in the aftermath of his illness.