HeadLine: I cried for my children as I waited for brain bug to kill me
The Mirror, 23/12/2000, p9
by SHAUN MILNE
BRAVE Celtic star Morten Wieghorst has admitted he thought he would die
after being struck down by a rare brain bug.
The plucky dad-of-two has been battling against Guillain Barre Syndrome
for four months.
But the thought of his wife Anna, 30, son Sebastian, two, and
13-month-old daughter Sofie drove him on.
He said: “I was scared at times and I was worried, but you keep telling
yourself you have to be strong.
“It hit me that something was terribly wrong and that’s when it sunk
in, it can kill you.
“I was asking, am I going to get well enough to play with my children
“I didn’t want to cry – but I did. Now I just have to get back into the
way of things.”
The Parkhead player was hit by the condition – which affects just one
in 100,000 people a year – in September.
The 30-year-old had been suffering from a slight cold and at first
thought he was coming down with flu.
But within days he couldn’t walk, could barely lift his arms and was
fighting for every single breath.
The superfit footballer was rushed to hospital, where his health
deteriorated so rapidly he was unable to feed himself and lost three
stones in weight.
Medics eventually had to put him on a drip and then a ventilator as he
struggled to breathe on his own.
He said: “I was going off my head when Anna couldn’t make out what I
was saying. I couldn’t speak for 11 days.
“But she was amazing.
“I was lying there with tubes sticking out of me all over the place,
and even though I must have looked a real mess I didn’t get the
impression that she though ‘what’s happened to him’.
“I relied on her hugely.
“Effectively I was paralysed. I could move my eyes and mouth, my arms a
little and I could point out simple sentences on a spelling board. That
was it. It was a nightmare.”
As quickly as the disease had struck, it began to subside, leaving him
with a long slow battle to recovery.
He was released from hospital just last week, in time for Christmas.
He said: “I was desperate to get out in time. Normally we spend a day
with our Danish friends and a day with Scottish friends.
“This year it will just be the four of us – I’m not up to entertaining
at the moment.”
The player has received sackloads of cards and letters from fans and
great support from his friends at the club.
But a card signed by all the players at Rangers holds a special place
in his heart.
Morten has a long, hard fight for fitness ahead but he is determined to
return to the Celtic line up.
But he admits that his brush with death means he will accept life
without football should it prove too great a challenge.
He said: “I love football but, when I was really ill – those 11 days in
intensive care – football didn’t mean a thing.
“The only thing I thought about was getting my health back and being
able to be with my family again.
“You don’t know what it’s like not being able to turn in bed when you
want to. You don’t know what it’s like not to be able to eat your
dinner on your own or brush your teeth.
“Football has given me a beautiful house, a Mercedes, wonderful things.
I love my lifestyle but I have learned that material things are not the
be all and end all.
“If you don’t have your health, everything else is second. You soon
find out that there is more to life than football.”
Categories: Daily Mirror articles