St George Illawarra Dragons fullback Cody Ramsey isn't getting the ideal pre-season preparation, after being waylaid by a severe condition that has put him in hospital.
The Daily Telegraph has revealed that Ramsey has spent the past two weeks in Wollongong hospital as he deals with a condition called ulcerative colitis – a severe inflammation of the bowel and digestive tract that can create unbearable pain and can sometimes require surgery.
Ramsey had been back at training just two weeks before coming down with the condition, which dramatically exacerbated after a gruelling run.
“Cody thought it was just a bug and ran his nine-and-a-half kilometres,” Ramsey's mum Kim told the Telegraph.
“That's where it all unravelled. His immune system was fighting something it couldn't fix.
“The doctor originally said he might need surgery and it could end his footy career.
“I've never seen him so sick and in so much pain.
“Fortunately he's progressing now and we're hopeful he'll be OK to play again next season. He's a tough cookie and he'll hopefully be back in the new year.”
The development comes at a bad time for Ramsey, who had locked down the starting fullback role in Anthony Griffin's side this year. Though he'll likely be favoured for the role, he has Tyrell Sloan breathing down his neck.
Though the exact cause of the illness can be difficult to pinpoint, though it's believed it most regularly occurs due to a ‘malfunction' of the immune system. Ramsey is currently being treated with Infliximab – a drug that costs nearly $12,000 per injection.
Though he's already well-supported by his family and friends, Ramsey has also had another concerned party staying in touch regularly.
“(Anthony Griffin) is one in a million,” Kim continued.
“He has rung me every single day. He has texted Cody every single day. He's gone to his ward to visit him at the hospital a couple of times.
“He cares so much for all his players and he's treated Cody like a son. I can't thank him enough. Honestly, he's the nicest man.”
Cody Ramsay, I have a lot of sympathy for him.
One of my boys got UC; inherited through a DNA defect . (It comes down through the female side of the family – males can be affected, but they don’t pass it on). He had to have his large intestine removed, and had to wear a colostomy bag.
After six months, he stabilised and the surgeons “made” him a new large intestine from an extension of the small intestine. That sort of works, except everything is a bit _wet_ and he has to take some drug every day, and will do forever.
The point I’m making is that he has a desk job and so the outcome is manageable for him. For Cody – as an NRL player – it may not be. Real sympathy for the lad.
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