Astonished at his quick recovery, the Indian doctor based in Dubai, who treated the Pakistan top-order batsman, Mohammad Rizwan recalls the indomitable spirit and courage of the player on the ICU bed.
"Mujhe khelna hai. Team ke saath rehna hai (I want to play and be with the team)," Rizwan used to say to doctors who treated him in the ICU.
The Pakistan top-order batsman, who played a stunning innings against the mighty Australians in the semifinal of the ICC T20 World Cup, had joined the team after fighting a severe chest infection and being treated in the ICU.
"Rizwan had a strong desire to play for his nation in the crucial knockout match. He was strong, determined, and confident. I am astonished at the pace he had recovered," recalls Dr Saheer Sainalabdeen, Specialist Pulmonologist at Medeor Hospital, Dubai, who treated the cricketer.
Rizwan presented with severe retrosternal chest pain mimicking cardiac pain and breathing difficulty on November 9 at 12.30 a.m. at the Emergency department of Medeor Hospital.
He had been suffering from intermittent fever, persisting cough, and chest tightness for 3-5 days by then.
The medical team immediately stabilized him and gave him symptomatic medications to ease his pain.
"His pain at the time of admission was 10/10. So we subjected him for a detailed evaluation to diagnose the condition," said Dr Saheer.
The results confirmed that the player had severe laryngeal infection leading to an oesophagal spasm and bronchospasm.
It is painful contractions of muscles within the oesophagus. "Esophageal spasms can feel like sudden and severe chest pain that lasts for a few minutes to hours," added Dr Saheer.
The medical team shifted the 29-year-old cricketer to the ICU and monitored his condition continuously.
Rizwan had to manage severe pain and other issues induced by the medical condition.
"Rizwan had a severe infection. Recovery and gaining fitness before the semifinal seemed unrealistic. It would have normally taken 5-7 seven days for anybody to recover," maintained Dr Saheer.
However, the cricketer was confident and displayed tremendous willpower.
"He seemed very focused and believed in God. His only thoughts were about the semifinal," the doctor added.
Two nights in the ICU, Rizwan responded well to symptomatic medications and showed significant improvement. His pain score had come to 2/10. The doctor believes various factors might have contributed to his faster recovery.
"Rizwan was firm, courageous, and confident. His physical fitness and endurance level as a sportsman had been key in his recovery. He had been in the ICU for 35 hours," explains Dr Saheer.
After being evaluated by a multi-disciplinary team of doctors, Rizwan was discharged from the hospital on Wednesday around noon.
The cricketer's recovery made everybody happy. The team officials were in constant touch with the medical team.
"During sporting events, we have seen players coming up with injuries. But this is the first time a player with a severe infection of this scale had recovered so quickly. When Rizwan hit the big sixes, we were all happy. The power he has regained after the illness has been amazing. His dedication, commitment, and courage are truly commendable," said Dr Saheer.
A grateful Rizwan thanked the doctor and the medical team for their support and care. He also gifted a signed jersey to Dr Saheer as a token of gratitude.
Medeor Hospital Dubai is a unit of VPS Healthcare, the group that guards the bio bubble and provides medical services for the ongoing T20 World Cup.