An Indian doctor who helped to get Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Rizwan stood up one day before T20 World Cup semi-final against Australia in Dubai he has praised the indomitable spirit and courage of the wicket hitter as he battled a serious chest infection in ICU. Medeor Hospital Specialist Pulmonologist Saheer Sainalabdeen, who treated the cricketer, was amazed by Rizwan’s speedy recovery. “Mujhe Khelna he. Team ke saath rehna he, (I want to play and be with the team),” Rizwan told the doctors who treated him at the ICU.
The Pakistan starter beat all odds to score 67 of 52 balls in the knockout game that his team lost to Australia by five wickets.
“Rizwan had a strong desire to play for his nation in the crucial knockout game. He was strong, determined and confident. I am in awe of the pace he had regained,” recalled Saheer.
Rizwan had been suffering from intermittent fever, persistent cough and chest tightness for 3-5 days before being hospitalized. The medical team immediately stabilized him and gave him symptomatic medications to ease his pain.
“His pain on admission was 10/10. So, we put him through a detailed evaluation to diagnose the condition,” Saheer said.
The results confirmed that the player had a severe laryngeal infection that caused esophageal spasm and bronchospasm. It is a painful contraction of the muscles of the esophagus.
“Esophageal spasms can feel like sudden, severe chest pain that lasts from a few minutes to hours,” Saheer said.
The medical team transferred the 29-year-old cricketer to the ICU and continuously monitored his condition. Rizwan had to manage severe pain and other problems induced by the medical condition.
“Rizwan had a serious infection. Recovering and getting in shape before the semi-final seemed unrealistic. Normally, it would have taken 5 to 7 days for someone to recover, “Saheer said.
However, the cricketer was confident and displayed tremendous willpower.
“He seemed very focused and believed in God. His only thoughts were on the semi-final,” added the doctor.
Two nights in the ICU, Rizwan responded well to symptomatic medications and showed significant improvement. The doctor believes that several factors could have contributed to his faster recovery.
“Rizwan was steadfast, courageous and confident. His physical condition and his level of resistance as an athlete had been key in his recovery. He had been in the ICU for 35 hours, ”Saheer said.
After being evaluated by a multidisciplinary team of doctors, Rizwan was released from the hospital around noon on Wednesday.
The team officials were in constant contact with the medical team.
“During sporting events, we have seen players get injured. But this is the first time that a player with a serious infection on this scale has recovered so quickly.
“When Rizwan reached the big six, we were all happy. The power he has regained after the illness has been amazing. His dedication, commitment and courage are truly commendable,” added Saheer.
A grateful Rizwan thanked the doctor and medical team for their support and care. He also gifted Saheer a signed shirt as a token of gratitude. Medeor Hospital Dubai is a unit of VPS Healthcare, the group that protects the bio-bubble and provides medical services for the ongoing T20 World Cup.
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