Igor was always passionate about his health and fitness. So much so, that when he finally decided to pursue his ambition to complete a full marathon, he prepared diligently. Little did he know that during the race, disaster would strike.
For six months he built up his training and when race day finally arrived, he was looking forward to testing his fitness and resolve.
“I was only 3.8km from the end and my body started to feel like it was shutting down… it was absolutely terrifying,” he recalls. “My heart was pounding and my legs were both hit with painful cramps. I stumbled to the side of the road and called out for help.”
The last thing the 31-year old remembers before losing consciousness was the skidding of the race paramedic’s bike on the asphalt nearby. Then everything faded to black.
Igor was extremely lucky that race paramedics were on hand to give him immediate care and rush him to The Alfred’s Emergency & Trauma Centre. Soon after his arrival, emergency physicians diagnosed him with rhabdomyolysis – a serious condition that involves one’s muscles deteriorating so rapidly it can cause kidney failure.
“I had never even heard of rhabdomyolysis before, so it was really hard for me to process,” Igor says. “But Alfred specialists explained that it was more common than people expect. It is sometimes seen in ultra-marathon runners as well as CrossFit athletes – those who push their bodies to the physical limit.”
Igor would go on to spend two weeks at The Alfred – a stay that included a full week in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. Here, he undertook a fortnight of dialysis treatment, until his body was strong enough to go home to undergo further rest, rehabilitation and outpatient treatment.
Since then, Igor has successfully returned to work and a healthy lifestyle. A couple of months ago his journey even came full circle: he competed in his first official race – a 15km run.
“I will always remember the extraordinary sense of relief I felt when I crossed the finish line at the end. I was so proud of myself, as well as everyone who supported me on this journey,” he says.
And Igor shares his special appreciation for The Alfred staff who cared for him during his recovery:
“We are all so fortunate to have The Alfred there for us. Their doctors and staff do such an incredible job, and I will forever be grateful for the care I received."