Catrakilis' road to recovery

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 07:40

EXCLUSIVE: Harlequins flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis recently returned to the playing field after recovering from a life-threatening throat injury that occurred during his Premiership debut.

Watch the young pivot open up from the seventh minute!

Catrakilis took a shoulder to his throat in an attempt to make a tackle and struggled to breathe, a moment that left him panicking.

"It was a very unfortunate time, a very unfortunate injury to happen to anyone. It was my first start for Quins and it happened in the 13th minute. I caught a shoulder to the throat trying to make a tackle and at first, I didn't realise how serious it was, I just thought it was another hit to the throat and my breathing would come back quickly but it wasn't - it was getting worse. 

"I was panicking a little when I saw the doctors on the field and they could tell it was getting worse and I was really struggling. Eventually, I got some oxygen which didn't really help, got into the ambulance - which was quite a ride - it wasn't getting any better. Luckily got to the hospital quick enough for them not to cut me to go through my throat.

"At the hospital, they gave me some injections, whatever they needed to do to get the swelling down. I stayed in the hospital for a week and it was another six-month process before I could play again," he said.

As expected, the rehab was tough, especially considering that the 28-year-old lost a bit of weight in the process.

"For the first 4 weeks, I wasn't allowed to get sick or go out. All I could do was stay on the couch watching TV and making sure that I didn't stress my throat and then had the operation. After that, I had to get my breathing right, my eating right and eventually, my voice was getting better and only then could I start eating properly.

"I lost quite a bit of weight because I couldn't eat any solids for about two months, so I was smoothing every meal. It was a really tough process coming back from it.

"These type of things happen in rugby, you get injured but I'd never thought I'd get something to my throat and have to go through that process was completely different," he added.

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