BRENDAN Sheridan, Oldham RL Club’s assistant coach, is struggling mentally after his “miracle” recovery from Covid-19 in Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield.
The 41-year-old father of three, who had no other health issues, spent two weeks in critical care and in an induced coma. He was on a ventilator and needed to be packed in ice to reduce his fever.
Sheridan said: “When I left hospital one of the physiotherapists shed a tear and said it was a miracle I had pulled through.
“I owe my life to those wonderful NHS people. Physically I feel fine now, but mentally it’s hard to process everything that’s happened to me and everything that continues to happen to other people.
“A lot of people go into hospital with it and tragically don’t come back. That haunts me and every day I ask myself why I’ve survived and others have failed to make it.”
Sheridan has revealed he has been left with post-traumatic stress disorder and, thanks to the intervention of Rugby League Cares, has been put in touch with Sporting Chance, a specialist clinic set up by former football star Tony Adams.
He added: “I’ve seriously been struggling to get any sleep. I’m haunted by the thought that if I hadn’t pulled through, I wouldn’t have been able to say a proper goodbye to my family.
“As rugby players you shrug off bruises, breaks and torn muscles, but you can’t see the tears on the inside.
“I’ve been carrying some mental baggage with me all my life and if I live for another 41 years I don’t want to be burying it every time I put my head on the pillow.”
Sheridan added he would never be able to adequately thank the rugby league community for its support, including his Oldham colleagues, Roughyeds’ fans and club chairman Chris Hamilton.
“Chris was in constant touch with my mum and my family,” he said. “He was absolutely fantastic. I can’t stress too much the level of help he’s given me, both mentally and emotionally.”