Beau Casson: Tetralogy of Fallot, Heart Surgery and Meeting Ajmal Shahzad!

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Spin bowler Beau Casson played a solitary Test for Australia in West Indies back in 2008…

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/319141.html

… bouncing back to claim three second innings wickets after a chastening first innings experience. Three years later however, at the age of just 28, Casson was forced to retire from the game after collapsing during what turned out to be his final First Class appearance. That collapse was a consequence of the congenital heart condition that terminated the Perth native’s career, the condition is called Tetralogy of Fallot. It happens to be the same condition that my six-month old daughter suffers from and having already undergone heart surgery aged just six weeks, she’ll be undergoing open heart surgery in around two to three months time. Just over a week ago, she went to hospital for what was supposed to be the ‘in-between’ surgery. Unfortunately the operation didn’t go smoothly, hence my absence from the blogosphere for the past week or two. Fortunately the Silly Pointettes and I are now back home and catching up with PSL dramas and other cricket Jazz!

Back to Casson, I’ve read contradictory articles regarding Beau Casson, one that stated he underwent three open heart surgeries by the time he reached his first Birthday and another that advised he wasn’t diagnosed until he was twelve. If the second is true then he’s extremely fortunate to be alive, especially provided the life expectancy we were informed our daughter would have if she hadn’t undergone her first surgery.

It’s obviously a shame that Casson had to retire probably ten years earlier than could be expected for a spinner but given his condition, I’m sure that his rise to play professional international sport can serve as an inspiration to many.

Please see the links below for further information on Beau Casson and Tetralogy of Fallot.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/player/4825.html

http://www.chfed.org.uk/how-we-help/information-service/heart-conditions/tetralogy-of-fallot-fallots-tetralogy/

In amongst all the dramas of last week, my path unexpectedly happened to cross that of Sussex and former Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and England bowler, Ajmal Shahzad.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/england/content/player/21431.html

Needless to say, it wasn’t an appropriate occasion to request an autograph or selfie but it was, for a cricket fanatic like me, a bizarre experience at a ridiculously random time. We spoke about the difficulty of catching the train after a late night Yorkshire T20, Sussex hosting women’s internationals and fielding on the boundary in Adelaide. He seemed like an easy going guy, though whilst I myself exhausted the menu, I’m not sure what effect a week of dining in Costa all day every day will have taken on a professional sportsman.

I’ll be keeping an eye on Shahzad’s performances come the county season with added interest and he might even sneak into my fantasy team, as that’d be just the sort of sentimental, heart over head selection that I tend to go for but always let me down!

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