It was a fantastic afternoon on the amazing island of Mauritius August 20, 2008. I was about to start a
delicious lunch with my new beautiful bride in paradise.
It was the day before my 29th birthday and three days after my marriage in Ireland to my childhood sweetheart- the new Kate Devine. Everything was perfect, or so I thought – what I didn’t know before I sat down at that seafront restaurant, was that my life was about to change.
Ten minutes into our lunch my right arm started to go completely numb. I tried to ignore it but that was very difficult. I excused myself, went to the bathroom to check my color and splash some water round my face. I returned to the table and told Kate that I wasn’t feeling well at all and my arm was completely numb.
We retreated to the bedroom and over the course of the next 24 hours the numbness spread throughout my body. I had no idea what the hell was going on and was convinced once it traveled to the back of my head that I had hours to live.
I called reception and was rushed in an old Mercedes taxi to the local hospital. After a few hours of stringent tests, the doctor came back to say apart from a little kink in my neck, I was fine and it was probably all the stress and anxiety of the wedding that was causing the numbness.
This did nothing to settle my nerves. I was convinced I was extremely ill and lost for words to describe all the weird feelings and twitches that my body decided to perform. I spent the next few days in hospital and travelled home to spend the next six months at home on sick leave.
I was told by my general practitioner when I got back that I needed to visit a neurologist. He explained that my central nervous system had suffered a fairly severe attack during my honeymoon, probably as a result of some sort of virus. He said that it could take up to two years for my body to repair itself but that hopefully I would have no more attacks.
The neurologist said if I had another attack, I may have a disease called Multiple Sclerosis.
I was in complete shock and despair at this stage and it was as if my life was over. So many thoughts were going through my mind. My family life, career, football…everything was over!!
After twelve months from my first attack I was given the diagnosis that in fact I did have MS and I would have it for the rest of my life. I was advised my life would now change and told to stop my sport and get a new job which was less stressful. You see, I had always been very entrepreneurial and at twenty eight years old I had amazing plans for my life. This was all up in smoke at this stage.
For two years from that day in Mauritius, my life and more so my mind was upside down. I found it very difficult to come to terms with what I believed to be a life sentence and really work out where Conor Devine was going.
I was very fortunate that I had a loving wife, and fantastic family support which really got me through the tough times in the early years.
Then one day about two and a half years after my first attack, I literally decided that I was going to fight back.
I decided I was the master of my own destiny and after studying the condition in detail, my life just needed a little tweaking, but that I could in fact still be heavily involved in sport, be a successful entrepreneur, have a loving family, and also lead a super life.
I am so proud today to be able to say that I am more fit than I have ever been having just run a marathon of over 26 miles, I have celebrated the 1st birthday of our little girl Lilyanna and have just launched two businesses in the last 12 months. Life is fantastic.
I have real pleasure In sharing my secret of success with you all. You see everything you do in life – be it have a loving marriage, starting out on a business venture, improving your health, trying to lose weight and get fit, build great friendships – it is all about your attitude – Attitude is everything.
If you have the right attitude, I believe you can achieve anything. If you have the wrong attitude – you will achieve nothing – period!!
My mission over the years ahead is to share my story with the world and inspire people to believe in themselves and that they too can turn their life around, take control like I did, if they just apply the right attitude. Anyone can do this, which is fantastic news!
I wish you happiness and health & feel free to contact me in the future.