The family of late premiership-winning NRL coach Paul Green have revealed the findings of a post-mortem following the coach's tragic death earlier this year. The findings have revealed that Green was living with an undiagnosed and ‘severe' case of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy prior to his passing.
CTE has been in the spotlight recently with a focus on concussion issues, James Graham's captivating investigation into his own health and the likelihood of a UK class action by former Super League players.
In a comprehensive interview with The Australian, both Green's wife Amanda and Professor Michael Buckland from the Australian Sports Brain Bank spoke about the stunning post-mortem finding.
Buckland said that Green's case was so severe it likely affected both his impulse control and decision making in the lead-up to his death.
“It wasn't him, it was the brain disease,” Buckland said.
“The only known cause for the organic brain disease is repetitive head impacts.
“I suspect he would have been coping with stuff he didn't understand for quite a while. He didn't have mental health problems, he just couldn't control stuff that was going on in his head.”
While the tragic diagnosis can't undo the tragedy of Green's passing, Amanda said the discovery had helped the family find some peace.
“I was able to sit (Green's son) Jed down and explain that Daddy's brain was sick, that's why he did what he did,” Green said.
“The diagnosis helped them understand what happened.
“For my daughter it has also given her a sense of relief because of what's being said (about depression). She now understands that he wasn't in that space and there's nothing we could have done because he was sick. We just didn't know it.”
Though the last few months have been painful for the Green family and are unlikely to get easier more quickly, Amanda Green has grown even more determined to raise awareness about the debilitating condition.
“My goal is to shine a light on Paul's diagnosis, so we can advance our approach to detection, education, treatment and support for people suffering from CTE,” she said.