JAKE HAS FRIEND IN A HIGH PLACE
MAROONS hopeful Jake Friend will tonight look to shatter Brisbane’s minor premiership hopes after overcoming a health scare that almost took his life.
When Friend runs on to Allianz Stadium tonight, it will be almost a year since the Sydney Roosters rake was rushed to hospital after collapsing in his home.
The former Noosa junior lost two litres of blood. A day earlier, he had taken a hit to his chest playing against Melbourne Storm.
Roosters chief medical officer Dr Ameer Ibrahim said if Friend had lived in a remote country area, four hours or more away from hospital, he would have died.
The 25-year-old was later diagnosed with a haemothorax, a collection of blood in the lung cavity, often the result of repeated blunt trauma.
There were fears Friend might never play again, but on the eve of the Broncos clash that could decide the minor premiership, the hooker says he carries no scars from the ordeal.
“My lung thing was scary at the time but I’ve come through the other side,” Friend said.
“To go through that was something I never expected. I didn’t know what was happening at the time (of his collapse), I just kept feeling worse and worse.
“In a way, it was worse for my partner, she had to see me in that situation and call an ambulance.
“But thankfully, it’s in the past for me. Throughout my ordeal, all I wanted to do was get back to football and the medical staff have been great, they cleared me to play and I feel 100 per cent now.”
Roosters medicos initially investigated whether the constant blows to Friend’s body could have been contributing factors to the lung condition.
But this season, Friend has not altered his industrious ways.