St George-Illawarra Dragons fullback Cody Ramsey's NRL future is under a serious cloud, after the 22-year-old was diagnosed with a debilitating condition. NewsCorp has revealed that Ramsey is suffering from ulcerative colitis, with his mother confirming he's been admitted to hospital and may require surgery.
The disease - which is often caused by a malfunction in the immune system - causes inflammation and ulcers in the digestive tract. It can be draining and in some cases lead to life-threatening complications.
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While there is currently no known cure for ulcerative colitis, there are several treatments that can greatly reduce its effects and bring about long-term remission.
Ramsey’s mother Kim told NewsCorp that her son was taken to hospital after experiencing pain and discomfort during NRL pre-season training. She said he went on a long-distance run after mistakenly thinking he was just suffering from a stomach bug and described her son's pain as the worst he's ever experienced.
“Cody thought it was just a bug and ran his nine-and-a-half kilometres,” his mother Kim said. That’s where it all unravelled. His immune system was fighting something it couldn’t fix.
“The doctor originally said he might need surgery and it could end his footy career. I’ve never seen him so sick and in so much pain.
However, Ramsey’s mum says the fullback is recovering after responding well to treatment, and remains hopeful that he can return to the footy field some time in 2023.
“Fortunately, he’s progressing now and we’re hopeful he’ll be OK to play again next season. He’s a tough cookie and he’ll hopefully be back in the new year. Footy’s important but as long as I’ve got a healthy boy ... family is everything.”
The news is a devastating blow for the player and the Dragons, with Ramsey's shock health diagnosis leaving NRL fans shocked, saddened and praying for his speedy recovery.
Dragons coach praised for concern towards star
Ramsey's mum gave a special shout-out to Dragons coach Anthony Griffin, who she says has been in regular contact with the player and his family, with regard to his wellbeing. She described the veteran coach as the "nicest man" and says the duty of care shown to his young charge is commendable.
“You know what, that man is one in a million,” Kim said of Griffin. He has rung me every single day. He has texted Cody every single day. He has gone to his ward to visit him at the hospital a couple of times. He cares so much for all of his players and he’s treated Cody like a son.
“I can’t thank him enough. When he rings he’s never in a rush. Honestly, he’s the nicest man.”
Next season had been shaping as a big one for Ramsey, who started 2022 on the wing before being shifted to fullback, where he overtook fellow young gun Tyrell Sloan as the first-choice No.1 for the Dragons.
Ramsey's mum says the family is hopeful he will be able to leave Wollongong hospital in two weeks, provided his treatment and recovery goes as well as hoped.
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