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A sportsman who was declared dead after being hospitalised by a flesh-eating superbug is now alive and well.
Former Aussie Rules star Sam O'Sullivan represented Port Melbourne in the Victorian Football League before being hospitalised in 2015 with necrotising myositis. The then 24-year-old spent two weeks in a coma as the infection ate away at the muscles in his legs, with his family told to say their goodbyes after his body turned septic and he was "declared dead".
However, he went on to wake up from the coma and is thought to be one of just seven people in the world to recover from the superbug.
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O'Sullivan's ordeal did not end there, though, as he was told that he would never walk again after waking up from his coma.
“I was just extremely, extremely upset," he told the I've Got News For You podcast, via News.com.au. "I didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t actually believe what people were telling me.
“The main thing for me — my footy was my life — so one, to be told I was never going to walk again. And two, certainly never play again is a fairly big thing to get thrown on you upon wake up.”
After a year, though, O'Sullivan learnt to walk again but he was left with scars on both his legs and his left arm. He also suffered from post traumatic stress and has admitted he turned to alcohol.
“Because I didn’t play footy, I sort of ended up starting to drink a lot and sort of spiral a little bit over a couple year period," he added. “I lost a main thing was my footy and that was my sole love and I just felt a bit sort of helpless. I didn’t feel like I had much purpose.”
Seven years on from his ordeal, O'Sullivan now lives in the UK with his girlfriend and he remains positive despite the effects the superbug has had on his life.
“If these things hadn’t happened to me, then I wouldn’t be in London, I wouldn’t be with my current partner. I sort of try and look at it in a positive light and try not to take things for granted.”
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