Hull KR's Jordan Cox: My near-death experience
Jordan Cox tells Charlie Mullan why he'll forever be in debt to the doctors who saved his life after he suffered a freak injury playing rugby ...
LYING in hospital as doctors carried out an emergency removal of his spleen, Hull KR's Jordan Cox admits he feared it could be the end.
It wasn't his career as a rugby player he was worried about though – it was his life.
The 20-year-old had been rushed to hospital in Wigan after passing out following one of his stints in a reserve game against the Warriors.
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And with six of the eight pints of blood needed to circulate his body in his stomach, he was in big trouble.
Speaking about the incident in depth for the first time, Cox admits to thinking he would die.
And he says he will forever be in debt to the doctors and nurses who not only saved his life, but also ensured he was back playing for the Red and Whites less than four months later.
"When I first went in to hospital, I was a bit tender in my stomach, but I thought that was because I was hungry," Cox told the Mail.
"I then had a CT scan and that's when they discovered the full extent of the injury.
"My spleen had collapsed and my heart was pumping so fast that six of my eight pints of blood were lying in my stomach, rather than pumping through the rest of my body.
"My blood pressure was 30 over 15 compared to the normal 120 over 80.
"Doctors told me they would have to remove my spleen immediately.
"They assured me I was in the right place and there was nothing to worry about, but I was still panicking. I really thought I was going to die."
Those thoughts were far from an overreaction, as doctors later revealed that had he not arrived at hospital quick enough, and had the remaining two pints of blood also filtered through to his stomach, he would have been touch and go for survival.
Looking back today, Cox, who made two appearances on his return to the first team at the end of the season, says he will forever be in debt to the doctors who firstly acted so quickly, and then the nurses who looked after him over the following week.
"The medical staff were amazing and made sure I recovered fully," he said.
"I will be forever in their debt for saving my life. Then, when I was in intensive care, the nurses were superb.
"They were calling me codhead and I was calling them pie-eaters. There was one good looking nurse who I flirted with, but she was having none of it, which was funny.
"Anyone who knows me knows I had to see the funny side of what had happened.
"I feel sorry for my mum though, as she was worried sick about losing her son. I think she made it to Wigan from Hull in less than an hour when she was told I was in a bad way."
Doctors told Cox he wouldn't play again for the rest of the season, but he proved them wrong as he faced Bradford and Wigan in the final weeks of the campaign.
Now, he is already looking forward to next season.
He has promised to return to the Wigan hospital next year with a signed shirt and ball for those who looked after him.
And he intends for his third Super League season to be a big year for all the right reasons.
"Next season is a big year for me. After being called up to the England Knights squad at the end of last season, I want to be involved again.
"I may have been guilty of taking games for granted, but after the downs of last season I'll be treating every game as a joy," he said.