Footy legend Shaun Timmins reveals his wife saved his life when he couldn’t understand why he was ill – before doctors discovered his heart was only working at SIX PER CENT capacity
- Former Dragons and NSW star ended up in intensive care with a blood clot
- He was told he was on the verge of suffering a heart attack due to condition
- Wife Larissa convinced him to seek treatment, preventing a tragedy
Former NRL star Shaun Timmins was saved from a close brush with death recently when his wife insisted he go to hospital – where he spent a week in intensive care with a severely damaged heart.
The 46-year-old ex-Dragons and NSW five-eighth had felt ill for a while before his health battle came to a head when he struggled to breathe at a footy tournament last month.
‘To tell you the truth, I thought I was gone,’ Timmins told the Daily Telegraph.
‘I didn’t know what was happening. I just thought I was an old, unfit footballer, but I train almost every day.’
Timmins credits his wife Larissa (pictured together) for ensuring he didn’t die from a blood clot in the heart that left the organ operating at a fraction of its capacity
The former NSW star (pictured playing for the Blues in 2003) faced plenty of severe injuries during his career, but nothing remotely like this battle, which left him with a resting heart rate of 190 beats per minute
Timmins took a bad turn for the worse at his daughter’s OzTag championships at Coffs Harbour on the NSW north coast and the situation could have turned into a tragedy if it wasn’t for his better half.
‘My wife Larissa told me I had to go to hospital. She saved my life,’ he explained.
‘I was at John Flynn Hospital on the Sunday night and they said, “We don’t want to scare you but we don’t have the manpower here to save you if things worsen.”
‘I thought I was gone. The nurses couldn’t believe I was still standing. They told me it was lucky I was so fit. My resting heart rate was at 190 beats per minute.
‘I didn’t have a heart attack but I was on the cusp. They found a clot in my heart.’
‘I thought I was gone’: Timmins was in shock when he fell badly ill prior to his wife convincing him to seek medical help
The condition meant his heart was only working at six per cent of its capacity and he was rushed in to Gold Coast University Hospital in an ambulance with the sirens on.
Timmins will have heart shock treatment – which uses quick bursts of electricity to restore a regular beat to the organ – and must take medication.
His storied footy career was almost ended by another serious health problem in 2000, when an injury left him with a chronic knee condition so bad he couldn’t play for 18 months, leading to speculation his playing days were over.
Remarkably, he returned to the field in 2002 and was named the Dragons’ best player that season.
The condition occurred in his other knee, but he battled through and enjoyed the most famous moment of his career in game one of the 2004 State of Origin series, when he kicked the field goal that beat Queensland in extra time.
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