Musician finishes album from hospital bed after two strokes

Shane Kelly with his band, Pale Blue Moon

Two strokes within three weeks which left him blind in one eye, only made a Co Louth musician more focused on finishing a new album, which he mixed from his hospital bed.

Shane Kelly, 42, from Termonfeckin has just launched the first track from the debut album by Pale Blue Moon, which is produced by Madonna and Moby's American producer Brian Sperber.

Just as the album was being finalised, frontman Shane suffered a stroke on April 22 last which left him hospitalised for three weeks.

And as he was preparing to leave hospital for his young son's First Communion, disaster struck again when he was hit by an eye stroke on May 12.

"Just as the music was almost complete, I was unfortunate to have a stroke which was so annoying as it put a brake on my plans," he said.

"I was upstairs in my house and I just collapsed.

"I had no symptoms beforehand. I woke up and it was the weirdest feeling. I saw my left hand on my left leg and thought it was someone else touching me.

I realised that I was paralysed down my left side and dawning on me that I was having a stroke. I realised I was starting to lose my speech and that I needed to act fast.

"I managed to haul myself down the stairs and tell my wife Susanne, who is a nurse, to call an ambulance before my speech went.

"Luckily, her training and level-headedness kicked in and she was able to take charge until the ambulance arrived.

"The carotid artery in my neck ruptured spontaneously, creating blood clots which went to my brain and caused the stroke."

He spent three weeks in hospital and was waiting to be collected to go home for a few hours when he blacked out again.

Shane with his wife Susanna Kelly
Shane with his wife Susanna Kelly

"I was told that I could go home for a few hours just for my son Tadhg's First Communion. I showered, I dressed and as I was waiting to be collected, I bent down to pick something up and everything went black.

"My vision had gone.

Within a few minutes, my sight returned in my left eye but stupidly I didn't tell anyone until I went home because I wanted to be there for my son.

"But the minute, I said it to Susanne when I got home, she immediately rang for an ambulance again."

This time, he had an eye stroke when blood clots attacked his optic nerve.

"I spent four months in hospital and in the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire for a couple of months.

"While I was there, I was determined to finish the album - called The Pleasure of Finding Things Out - which I did so from my hospital bed with the aid of Skype and my bandmates

Their debut single, released last week has reached no. 2 in the iTunes Irish Rock Charts.

Thankfully Shane has made a full recovery apart from losing his sight in one eye. He also battles post stroke fatigue which, I'm told is normal after what I've been through."

Despite the two strokes, Shane realises just how lucky he is.

"I became more determined to live everyday as if it's my last. I know you hear that a lot but when you have had an experience like mine, you realise how precious time is."

Ahead of releasing his first single Supernatural with the new band Pale Blue Moon, Shane had to shoot a video with band members Mick Brady and Brian Griffin and got all his family – Susanna and three kids Maisie, Axel and Tadhg involved.

‘The production company found this really creepy house Grenville Manor in Cork and we all went there.

‘We arrived at 10.30pm on a Friday and were met with big gloomy iron gates and pitch darkness. The kids were a bit freaked out at first but ended up having a super time.

‘It was the coldest experience in my life though and all the kids were wrapped up like glow worns.

‘One of the scenes included me being half buried with my kids dressed as ghosts digging me up

‘I remember lying there face down in the dirt thinking – this is close to the bone. A few months ago, it could have been me’

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