“Rizwan had a severe infection. Recovery and gaining fitness before the semi-final seemed unrealistic.“, according to the Indian doctor who treated him.
Mohammad Rizwan, star wicket-keeper batsman of the Pakistan cricket team, was in extreme pain and discomfort when he was brought to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Medeor Hospital, Dubai, on November 9, just 2 days before the semi-final match against Australia during the ongoing T-20 World Cup. He had severe retrosternal chest pain and breathing difficulty. Rizwan said he had had persistent cough and tightness around the chest for a few days, along with intermittent fever.
It looked impossible for Rizwan to go back to the field and join his team for the crucial semi-final match at this juncture, but Indian doctor, Dr Saheer Sainalabdeen, specialist pulmonologist at the hospital, came up with a treatment plan to get Rizwan match-ready in the quickest time possible.
The Pakistani opener, who then smashed 67 off 52 balls and top-scored to steer Pakistan to 176 against Australia, surprised even the medics with his remarkable recovery after fighting severe chest infection and spending close to 35 hours in the ICU.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Dr Saheer said, “Rizwan had a strong desire to play for his nation in the crucial knockout match. He was strong, determined, and confident. I am astonished at the pace he had recovered.”
According to the medical team that attended Rizwan after hospitalisation, the intensity of his pain stood at 10 out of 10 on the pain scale. The doctor then started a detailed evaluation and conducted several tests and formed his diagnosis. The results affirmed that Rizwan had severe laryngeal infection leading to oesophageal spasm and bronchospasm. It is a condition that causes painful contraction of muscles within the oesophagus.
“Rizwan had a severe infection. Recovery and gaining fitness before the semi-final seemed unrealistic. It would have normally taken five to seven days for anybody to recover,” explained Dr Sainalabdeen when asked about the severity of the gritty wicketkeeper-batsman’s illness.
“He seemed very focused and believed in God. His only thoughts were about the semi-final.”
The doctor attributed the cricketer’s physical fitness and endurance level as a major contributing factor to his recovery. Rizwan not only thanked Dr Sainalabdeen and his medical team for their role in helping him recover, but he also gifted the doctor a signed jersey as a token of gratitude.