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February 17, 2006

Bad time

Ok. Explanation for missing or bleak postings last few days.

I play rugby every Saturday, nothing fancy, just for the village team. More of a social thing than anything, chance to run round and get rid of some frustrations and have a few beers with your mates afterwards.

A chap that I play with collapsed on Saturday, on the pitch. He was preparing to throw the ball in at a line-out, and just went down. He was playing for the first team, away, and I for the seconds at home, so we didn't hear for a while after our game, and then the news came through in dribs and drabs. Not too serious, we thought at first. He'll be ok. Concussion, probably, it happens. Then came the news of teammates administering CPR, and the ambulance coming, and the paramedics shocking him several times.

I don't know him really well. He doesn't live in the village, he comes down from Birmingham to play. I've had many a pleasant chat to him in the bar, and we've played front row together quite a few times - he's moved across from hooker to prop, and I've come in at hooker - but no more than that. He's quite a private, intense kind of bloke; well respected, fiercely loyal, committed to his family, his work and his rugby. A very fit, hard, man: he drinks bottles of pils so he can keep in with the rounds in the pub but only drink half as much. No extra fat on him, even at forty-four. Never smoked.

It turns out that he has a history of heart disease in his family, and maybe his lifestyle was an attempt to stave this off. I don't know.

He's still unconscious in intensive care, breathing by himself, with difficulty, via a tracheotomy. The doctors have tried to bring him round but without success so far. They are worried that if they do manage to bring him round, the shock of what has happened may give him another heart attack. It doesn't look good, to be honest.

I have had a few days to get used to this now. It's tough, but you just have to realise that this happens to hundreds, thousands of people every week. In time, it'll happen to someone you know. The world carries on, and my life with it: lucky me, and you, and all of us. We feel sad, and are reminded deeply of our mortality, but gradually it fades and we carry on. We are playing again on Saturday.

I hope he makes it, I desperately hope so. I cannot imagine the anguish that his wife and young children are suffering. Unconsciously, I find I am trying to spend as much happy time with my wife and kids as I can. Perhaps that is the best legacy of something like this: we are reminded that our time is short: four thousand weeks is all you've got, and that we need to make the most of them.

Be kinder, more considerate, and more tolerant, for our lives are far too short for hate, indifference and injustice.


  • how's he doing?

    we lost someone we knew in 9/11, the father/husband of three young kids/their mother, similar ages to our own three; they'd recently moved away from our neighbourhood and in truth I probably wouldn't have thought of her/him very often if 9/11 hadn't happened

    (I think of her still, though; I hope that doesn't sound perverse)

    so yes - you are right, make the most of everyday with the ones you are fortunate enough to love and have near; but also, I suppose accept that we are but human

    not super-human

    By Blogger don't chase it, at 11:15 am  

  • (you're never going to sort out the reedy voices thing, are you? but, given the nature of this post maybe life is just too short. . .)

    By Blogger don't chase it, at 11:19 am  

  • Just too busy to blog at weekends, sorry ....

    Not much news, I'm afraid. The doctors are into the brain-scanning again phase. He's reacting to pain tests and whathaveyou but they can't really assess him until he wakes up. Still possible that everything could be ok, so still hoping hard.

    By Blogger crisiswhatcrisis, at 11:42 am  

  • i hope it works out ok. i nearly lost the other half the year before last when he had a brain haemorrhage. it certainly puts things in perspective - i cherish every moment we spend together now.

    By Blogger surly girl, at 10:42 am  

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