MAN DOWN

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Ben Player talks about his recent run with death

“It was a pretty crazy week last week and I’m happy to say it’s all behind me. I was discharged from hospital yesterday and am so stoked to be back on my feet, but it’s going to be a long few months until I’m 100 per cent.

What basically happened was I did an air and landed on my elbow in the flats, but I didn’t know how bad my injury was at the time. I kept trying to soldier on until the injury got so bad that my body started shutting down. Luckily the boys (Todd Langley, Jack Johns, Andrew Kaineder and Nick Bannehr) were close by and Pete Conroy – a local paramedic/surfer/legend – came down to evaluate my condition and called the Irish Coast Guard chopper straight away to evecuate me to hospital.

I arrived at hospital some hours later and the doctors diagnosed me with internal bleeding and a grade two tear to my spleen. They were freaking out and were about to put me straight into surgery to get it removed, but luckily they decided to manage it conservatively (meaning they decided to monitor the bleeding and keep it in there). After five days of laying out in a hospital in Limerick in Ireland they discharged me.

I’m now on my way back home, but it’s going to be a long journey to recovery. The doctors advised me that I won’t be able to do anything strenuous for two-to-three months, which I was annoyed about at first about as autumn is the best time at home for waves, but then one of the doctors told me how lucky I was to be alive. After doing some research I found out how important your spleen is [it plays important roles regarding red blood cells and your immune system – ed/Wikipedia] so pretty quickly I felt a whole lot of appreciation that the injury wasn’t any worse. I just want to say a massive thank you to Peter Conroy, The Irish Surf Club, the Irish Coast Guard, Rescue 115, all the doctors and nurses in the hospital, the boys for helping me get out, and all of the people all over the world that sent their kind messages and prayers.”

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