Lisbellaw United player Matty Woods won’t be forgetting his side’s Irish Junior Cup clash with Coalisland Athletic any time soon.
A missed penalty early in the game was the least of his worries when what looked like an innocuous challenge caused a potentially life-threatening collapsed lung which saw him rushed into surgery.
The incident happened about half way through the second half of the game.
“There was a collision when the defender came to clear the ball,” said Woods. “The contact came into my chest which hit the rib and then the lung.”
Woods tried to soldier on, but it was soon clear he wouldn’t be able finish the match.
“I did a bit of running about after and I just felt something slapping around inside me. I thought it was my rib slapping, but it was also my lung, it was a really weird feeling.
“The physio was concerned, but they initially thought I was winded. I stayed on, but I had to come off after about five minutes because I was finding it hard to talk and walk.”
A friend of Woods took him to South West Acute Hospital where he was examined by a doctor who diagnosed a fractured rib and sent the Lisbellaw player to x-ray for confirmation.
“Whenever the x-ray came back they realised the lung was collapsed and I had to be operated on straight away. I was under the knife by 5pm,” said Woods.
“I was still awake for the procedure, I was just on morphine. I was very very sore, you could feel them poking around in your lungs, it was really weird.
“I had lost 25 percent of my lung capacity, but the medical team were very calm so that put me at ease. Then I had to wait for a few x-rays and I was hooked up to a big complicated machine to clear out my lungs.”
After his brush with a potentially fatal injury Woods now faces an extended spell of recuperation and rehabilitation. He is currently a student at Newcastle University where he is studying Sports Management.
“I have to get my mates to send me over my suitcase,” said Woods. “I’ve only got few clothes with me, but now it looks like I’ll be home early for Christmas. I can’t play football for four to five months and I can’t fly for a month because of the pressure on the lungs.”
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