Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Health Scares Can Happen at Any Age

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Health Scares Can Happen at Any Age

Article excerpt

JARRARD

POTTER

jarrard.potter@dailyexaminer.com.au

LIKE many people my age, I never really thought bad things could happen to me when it comes to my health. It wasn't that I wasn't concerned about my health or wellbeing, I just thought serious health problems were something to be concerned about when I got a bit older. I'm a young person, and young people don't get sick.

That naive idea was completely shattered last week when one of my close friends had to have emergency surgery, and found himself in the intensive care unit of Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane.

He came home from work one day with a bit of a sore back. He didn't really think anything of it, but it persisted. One of our mates is a physio, so my friend went and got some treatment, but the pain didn't go away completely. To his credit, he went to the hospital, but they just gave him some painkillers and sent him on his way.

Nothing seemed out of the ordinary until he came home from work with a fever. The next day he woke up and couldn't move his legs. Within hours he was rushed to hospital and had an MRI, which revealed a large cyst that was putting pressure on his spinal cord. As his fever worsened, he had emergency surgery to remove the cyst, and since then has been in ICU.

When I first heard the news from another close friend, I struggled to make sense of it all. It was as if a vacuum had opened in my chest, and I was in freefall.

Bad things like this aren't supposed to happen to someone as young as that.

I made the trip up to Brisbane to visit him last weekend, and it was a struggle to see him sedated in a hospital bed, breathing tubes down his throat and a cobweb of wires and electrodes covering his chest. Seeing him there in the ICU was difficult, and I had a hard time controlling my emotions. I was scared for what could happen, and afraid about his recovery. …

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