Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland goalie Carson blood clot health scare

By Allan Preston

Northern Ireland back-up goalkeeper Trevor Carson says he feared for his life after doctors told them they were 90% sure he was suffering from cancer.

The 30-year-old said he felt "lucky" his illness was later diagnosed as deep vein thrombosis, even though a knock to the head could prove fatal.

The Motherwell player was speaking to BBC Scotland after the health scare forced a temporary halt to his career.

On November 11 last year he suspected that he had a trapped nerve in his neck.

Motherwell suffered a 7-1 defeat at Rangers before he left for international duty.

"I was getting a little niggle in my arm, which was something I had never experienced before," he said.

"I've had shoulder injuries but this built up over the week I was away with Northern Ireland.

"My mum knew something was up. She told me to go to A&E and after that I was in great hands at Wishaw General Hospital.

"They picked up on the clot and it had actually moved into my lung as well, so I got it at the right time. If I had waited another week or even a day, who knows what would have happened."

He said initially being told that he may have cancer made him reflect.

"It makes you think you take a lot of things for granted. It was a bit of a shock; you don't expect at this age to get that sort of illness. Initially, I just wanted to get healthy, to be alive, to be a father, for my fiancee," said the Downpatrick man

"People around me took it a lot worse than me. I took it as a positive, how lucky I have been. I could have had cancer.

"I've tried to remain positive throughout and it's definitely helped me. There have been times I've been down, but I've got people around me who have picked me up and I'm definitely looking on the bright side now."

He says he aims to return to playing next season after his treatment, which is due to end on May 25.

Although back to full training sessions in the gym, his medication leaves him vulnerable.

"While I'm on these blood-thinning tablets I can't do any contact sports at all. If I was to get a knock on the head, it wouldn't clot because my blood is so thin. Even if I bump my head around the house I have to go straight to A&E to get it checked because it can be fatal."

He added: "My missus is so protective, and so is my mum. If I go on the treadmill they're like: 'Be careful, don't fall off'. But you can't live your life like that."

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