English batsman details the extent of his illness, says medical staff saved his life
Retired England batsman James Taylor has opened up about the illness that forced a premature end to his career, saying there’s no doubt medical staff saved his life. Taylor stunned the cricket world last month when he retired from all cricket at the age of just 26 having learned he has a rare and serious heart condition. The right-handed batsman said it wasn’t true that the condition – Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC) – was discovered during a routine heart check, revealing he was rushed to hospital after feeling tightness in his chest following a warm-up session with his county side Nottinghamshire. And he says staff at Nottingham City Hospital saved his life. “I had my usual morning nap, and then did the warm-up,” he said in an interview with BBC Radio. “Towards the back end of the warm-up that’s when my chest started getting tight. Apart from being tight it was beating at a million miles an hour. We were doing just a couple of routine catches and throws. “My heart was going wild at a funny rhythm. It was probably only about four degrees, really cold, and I got inside. Sweat from me is hitting the ground hard. So I knew I wasn’t right. “And that’s when I thought I was going to die. “(Medical staff) did save my life and that’s a fact. Nobody really appreciates what they do in the NHS (National Health Service).”They constantly get slated and almost bagged in the press. Until you’ve had an experience where your life can be taken away from you, you don’t realise what they actually do. “And the way they looked after me and catered for me at my time of need when I was going to die was unbelievable. And I owe so much to them and I will continue to support them in any way I can.” Taylor would spend the next 16 days in hospital, where doctors discovered he had ARVC. He says one of the biggest shocks came when he was told the majority of ARVC cases are only found during a post-mortem, meaning most people never know they have the condition. “I almost stopped crying at that point and felt more lucky that I’m in a position to tell this story now,” he said. It was in hospital that Taylor’s retirement was announced and he said the outpouring of emotion from friends and the general public was overwhelming.”I occasionally lay in bed – like I’m sure a few people have done – and wondered what it would be like if I died. Who would turn up to my funeral? And what would people say? “And the outpouring of emotion to me was like I’d died. It was quite dramatic in that sense, but it was amazing. “Once the release had been made to the press and the messages started flooding in, it took my attention away from my career and me not being able to do the thing that I loved ever again. Taylor played seven Tests and 27 one-day internationals for England, posting two Test fifties as well as a hundred and seven half-centuries in ODI cricket.
2015 Kashmir Despatch