Cape Town - South African flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis has revealed that he feared for his life after suffering a throat injury playing for English club Harlequins last September.
Catrakilis, who was making his home debut for Harlequins against Gloucester, required oxygen after taking a shoulder to the throat early in the game.
Following a lengthy medical treatment, the 28-year-old was taken off the field on a stretcher while receiving oxygen before being taken to hospital.
In an interview with The Independent, Catrakilis called the incident “bad timing” when an opponent’s shoulder caught his throat.
“I was given oxygen on the pitch and taken off on a stretcher. But while I was coming off the field, I’d realised it wasn’t going to go away, and the 30-minute ride in the ambulance was probably the worst feeling because I just wasn’t too sure if I was going to be able to breathe a lot longer,” the flyhalf said.
“I’ve never felt anything close to that before. I was struggling to breathe. I wasn’t too sure if I was going to make it, at one stage. There was just no space in my airway. It was just me fighting to get air. But we got to the hospital and they sorted me out.”
Catrakilis, 28, recently made his return to action.
He joined the English club after spending two years at French club Montpellier, having previously represented the Stormers and the Southern Kings.