Duffy on mend after brush with deathEverton and Ireland defender Shane Duffy thought he was going to die surgeons battled to save his life after a freak training ground injury.
The 18-year-old was on Sunday transferred from intensive care to the high dependency unit at Dublin's Mater Hospital after a marked improvement in his condition, and could be discharged soon.
However, Republic team doctor Alan Byrne revealed that the teenager feared he would lose his life after rupturing his left hepatic artery in a seemingly innocuous challenge with Irish Amateur team goalkeeper Adrian Walsh at Gannon Park, Malahide, on Friday evening.
Duffy lost 3.6 litres of blood - around two-thirds of his supply - and underwent emergency surgery after suffering a sudden and potentially fatal drop in blood pressure in casualty.
Dr Byrne said: "Shane was very frightened. He thought he as going to die.
"There was 3.6 litres of blood in his abdomen that has leaked from this artery, and he had received over 20 units of blood.
"You are pouring it in one way and it is leaking out the other way.
"All you can do at that stage is put as much fluid in as you can because you are trying to keep the circulation going to the brain and to the heart.
"[FAI surgeon Professor] John O'Byrne rang me a couple of times from the ambulance and he thought he was going to die because you cannot replace the loss of this fluid and blood.
"He had lines going in everywhere in A&E to try to maintain his blood pressure."
Dr Byrne revealed he knew within seconds of running on to the pitch at Malahide United's Gannon Park home that he was dealing with a serious injury.
He said: "I made my mind up probably 30 seconds into it. I just knew this was odd.
"I wasn't quite sure of the nature of it. He was in so much pain and I needed to know where that pain was.
"After a while, he was able to say it was near his lower breastbone, so what you think is the worst case scenario - the sac that covers your heart is behind there and you can bleed into that from a trauma, collapse your lungs, break your sternum.
"I noticed a bruise, a mark on his lower abdomen where your liver is, but I just knew we were in trouble.
"I wanted to see if he was stable - his pulse was okay and his heart and lungs, and I just knew we had to get to hospital quickly."
However, Duffy has made rapid progress since Friday, much to the delight and relief of both his family and the Republic set-up.
Dr Byrne said: "We went in to visit him yesterday. Myself and Ciaran [Murray], the physiotherapist, went in, and he said, 'I hope I wasn't too much trouble'.
"The news has been good, a lot has changed in 36 hours.
"On Friday night, we weren't talking about football, we were talking about would this young boy survive, would he live?"
Everton chairman Bill Kenwright and manager David Moyes have been in close contact, and dispatched their own medical staff to Dublin.
However, Duffy faces a lengthy period of recovery.
Asked just how long, Dr Byrne said: "In general terms, it will be six to eight weeks. I don't think there will be any pressure for him to be going back.
"He needs to get back to his family and recover from a huge, major incident and drama, that's the first thing.
"It's to difficult to answer that question. When he is fit and has recovered from his operation and everything, then we will make that decision."
Duffy's injury cast a shadow over Giovanni Trapattoni's end-of-season training camp, although his recovery lifted the mood as the senior players joined up today ahead of next week's friendly clashes with Paraguay and Algeria.
Assistant boss Marco Tardelli said: "We are very happy now we know his condition. It was very emotional when I met his father because I have a son the same age as Shane.
"Also the players were very sad because Shane is a good boy."