The Legends and The Commons & Lords
I remember waking up 5 years ago today, excited that Id be once again playing at Twickenham. I had a hearty breakfast in the hotel and headed down to the Stadium.
The Legends were in the visitors changing room, whilst the opposition were occupying the England changing room. Both teams knew each other well and we’d been in and out of each others changing rooms to share the banter. It was also special for me as Rory Murphy would be playing at Twickenham for the first time and also playing with his Dad!
Now, I’d not driven to the stadium with the immortal American Pie line ringing in my ears “this will be the day that I die”, but I’d arrived positive about the game. I recall introducing the medical team to both sides, Simon Kemp and Barney Kenny, and listening to rugby legend Richard Hill give a pre-match “call to arms”. David Rose the experienced Premiership Referee was in the middle and I lined up alongside international rugby talent such as Ikram Butt and Henry Paul. Of equal importance were the others on the pitch that day who were all raising money for a very worthy cause.
I don’t recall taking to the pitch, nor leaving the pitch by ambulance, nor the week or so after. I’ve watched the video many times and seen me go down to the ground and then be engulfed by the finest medical care one could ever want. I’d suffered a Sudden Cardiac Arrest, under the posts, after an exceptional run of at least 70 meters (props of the world will understand that this is in fact a multiplier of reality). For upwards of 40 minutes the team worked on my resuscitation till they were happy that I was fit to transport to hospital.
Only between 3 and 8% of those who suffer an SCA survive. Like most, I had no under-lying cardiac problems, and post SCA, test, after test, found nothing wrong with my heart, it was just one of those things! As a precaution they gave me an Implanted Cardiac Defibrillator, which sits under the skin on the left side of my chest. It means I can’t play any more, I can’t fly a helicopter nor drive a HGV or PSV.
But what it has done is make me realise just how fragile this mortal coil is and that we should enjoy every minute of every day to the maximum. In the early days and as I continue, the support from my wonderful family helped me come to terms with it. A certain amount of post traumatic stress has resulted in the odd panic attack, which passes in time. I think the SCA was a wake up call to review how I lived my life and what my priorities were. Since it happened I’ve been blessed with spending time in India, finding a new group of friends out there, from whom I learnt so much about values, life and living.
I’ve found that Lancashire is actually a nice place, but Yorkshire is still nicer and that Brexit and Trump don’t really matter that much and we just need to get on with living. So to all of you who have sent me 5th Birthday wishes today, thank you, To Helen Murphy Harriet Murphy Francesca Murphy Rory Murphy and Will Murphy and all the Murphy Family thanks for your love and support, and to Gary Henderson, Mike Waplington, Bill Thomas, Peter Calveley, Rob Brown, Ian Ayling, Danny Brown, and Keith Kent thank you for your support at the time and your continuing friendship, finally, to all those friends, too numerous to mention, thank you for being there.
Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So love the people who treat you right, forgive the ones who don’t and believe everything happens for a reason.
More on Alex’s SCA…