Former Old Xaverians footballer and current VFL-listed player, Sam O’Sullivan, has recently beaten the odds by surviving a rare and often fatal infection, Necrotizing Myositis.
The 24-year-old is currently recovering post-surgery and is believed to be one of seven survivors of the superbug which has just 21 recorded cases across the world.
“I just had really bad flu-like symptoms throughout the week and then on a Sunday night I had really bad shin pains to the point where I had to go to hospital,” O’Sullivan told 3AW radio hosts Ross and John on this morning’s rumour file.
“They couldn’t really find out what was going on for another couple of days.
“My leg blew up and my foot stopped working and I lost sensation.”
When he went in for compartment syndrome surgery, the doctors operating on O’Sullivan cut into his leg and received an unwelcome surprise.
“My whole leg had pus all over it,” he said.
“The infection in my body turned septic and I went into a coma, an induced coma.”
Despite being unconfirmed, the deadly infection is likely to have been contracted via a cut while playing football for Port Melbourne.
“You always cut yourself playing football,” O’Sullivan said.
“You might have bruises, cuts coming off a game. I mean, I can’t really pinpoint what happened or how I contracted it.”
The medical staff responsible for performing O’Sullivan’s surgery acted on three separate sites throughout his body, including both legs and his left bicep.
His right leg was the worst of the three affected locations and had to be fully reconstructed due to the damage the superbug had caused at the top of his shin.
“I lost all my muscle in my shins and the ability to flex my foot up I don’t have at the moment, so we’re hoping to have another operation in another couple of months once this is all healed,” he said.
The young star is realistic about his future in football and admits it is unlikely he’ll ever get back to VFL level again, but understands how rare it is to have survived.
“It’s just of those very unlucky things so I’m thinking about buying a Tattslotto ticket actually,” he said.
The VAFA wishes Sam the very best in recovery and hopes to see him back out on the football field in the near future.