Robinson: Blood clot could have killed me
BLACKBURN Rovers goalkeeper Paul Robinson has revealed he could have died from the blood clot he contracted on his lung.
And the former England international has paid tribute to Rovers club doctor Duncan Robertson for the role he played in saving his life.
Robinson, who returned to training this week after eight months on the sidelines, underwent an operation on his back in March.
The 33-year-old thought it had been a success until he started coughing up blood and getting chest pains over the Easter bank holiday weekend.
And after contacting Robertson for his advice, it was then when his life underwent a dramatic turn of events.
“It was a Sunday night and my chest started getting really tight at home and I started coughing up blood,” said Robinson.
“Our lads were away, at Cardiff, so I phoned the doctor and said something’s not right.
“I said, ‘my back feels fine, I’ve had no problems, the scar is great, it’s just a bit of chest pain and coughing up a bit of blood’.
“He said, just to make sure, to pop down to my local A&E. So he sent me down with a diagnosis on a text message and told me to give it to the registrar or the doctor and they’d do all the checks.
“I was there for a couple of hours and they sent me home as they said I was all right and it was just where they’d put the tubes down my throat for my back operation.
“So I obviously went home quite happy because if the hospital tells you you’re all right, you think you’re all right.
“But that night I was getting more and more chest pains and the next morning I was coughing up a lot more blood. It just felt like I had a huge man stood on my chest.
“So I had the sense to phone the doc back again and he said, ‘that’s not right’, and told me to get back to the hospital.
“But as I was going back to the original hospital he phoned me and said, ‘I’ve spoken to another doctor, go to LGI (Leeds General Infirmary) because it’s Easter Monday and they’ll have the people there to look after you’.
“It was about 5pm or 6pm at night when I finally got seen and found out what it was.”
Following the operation on his back Robinson had contracted a blood clot on his lung – a clot so big that it blocked the bottom half of his lungs.
“Am I going to die was my first question,” Robinson told Rovers Player.
“I was told, ‘yes, you could’ve died but no you’re not because we’ve caught it this early’.”
Robinsons admits had it not been for Rovers club doctor Robertson he may never have gone to hospital in the first place.
He said: “The doc here was brilliant. If it wasn’t for the doc here I don’t think I’d have gone back – in fact I wouldn’t have gone to A&E in the first place.
“For him to diagnose it over the phone like he did – I’m very grateful to him and he knows that."
Robinson was allowed home but he had to return to hospital to have injections in his stomach to thin his blood and begin to break down the clot.
He was then put on the blood-thinning tablets Warfarin.
“For the first couple of months I literally couldn’t do anything,” said Robinson, who retired from international football in 2010 after winning 41 England caps.
“I’d get out of breath just walking up the stairs. It was quite scary really.
“My nan is 92 and she came round to see me. I went for a walk outside and she came with me and she was streets ahead of me.
“It was a bit scary, a bit surreal. I felt like a 90-year-old smoker with asthma.”
After a couple of months Robinson began to feel ‘normal’.
He went on holiday to Cornwall – his condition meant he was not allowed to fly abroad – and spent time with his family.
But he had to remain on Warfarin for six months – three months longer than he had hoped.
Robinson had to watch what he ate and drank and even everyday activities were fraught with danger.
“We went to Alton Towers for my little girl’s birthday and the next day I had a huge big bruise across my thighs where the bars had come down from the rides,” he said.
“I’d cut myself shaving at home and it would take four or five hours to stop bleeding.
“It was frustrating.”
What was equally frustrating was returning to Brockhall in the summer and not being able to take part in a full pre-season with his Rovers team-mates.
But after coming off Warfarin earlier this month, he is now approaching full fitness.
“I’ve done my running and work in the gym but the goalkeeping work, the power and explosiveness – I’ve obviously lost some of that,” said Robinson.
“So I’ve started my own pre-season programme now. I’ve had the gloves on a couple of times before but now I can dive around.
“It was the Warfarin that was stopping me doing that as it thins the blood.”
Robinson has not put a date on his return to first-team contention.
But he is sure that Rovers are in a much better shape, under Gary Bowyer, than they were last season.
“I think the manager has done a great job,” said Robinson, who turns 34 on Tuesday.
“The relationship he has with the players is fantastic.
“Spending time away from the place and coming back you do see a different place.
“This year the atmosphere in the dressing room is brilliant, we’ve got a great team spirit, the boys socialise together, it’s a really good place to be, and I think you can see that on the pitch.”
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