Tue. Jul 14th, 2020

Liverpool loanee Awoniyi reflects on his near-death experience after head collision

3 min read

The Nigeria international was stretched off in his side’s defeat at Opel Arena earlier this month after suffering a severe concussion

On-loan Liverpool forward Taiwo Awoniyi has recollected his near-death experience after a head collision in Mainz clash against Augsburg.

The Nigerian forward lasted only for 17 minutes in the encounter before he was forced off after colliding with Augsburg centre-back Felix Udoakhai.

Awoniyi was immediately rushed to the hospital, where he spent a night, and after a test was carried out it was revealed he suffered a severe concussion.

The striker revealed the observations and findings of the doctors, who attended to him, as well as their advice for him on how to handle a similar situation in the future.

“The doctor told me it’s really strange. They said the way I was coming down, I should [have gone] down with my head. If I had gone down directly with my head, it would have been a different story,” Awoniyi told ESPN.  

“They said they were surprised because I was already [passed] out in the air but I was lucky that the first thing that happened was my feet hitting the ground, then my shoulder also, before my head.

“They said that made it less of a problem because if I had landed straight with my head it would have been a different story.

“The doctor told me I was talking on the pitch but I didn’t know I was talking. He said when they tried to wake me up I was telling them I’m okay and I still wanted to play but I didn’t know I was saying that. I don’t remember that.

“When we got to the hospital before I regained consciousness, they were lifting me up and that was when I realized I wasn’t on the pitch anymore.”

After the incident, referee Marco Fritz reacted fast to save the life of the Nigeria U23 star and the forward has stated he sent the referee a message to thank him.

“Most of the players were not even aware of what happened and he was the one that was [aware] and came to my rescue,” he continued.

“For me, there are a lot of things that I see that gets me amazed but when I saw that picture it really got to me and I was like, ‘Is this me?’

“Honestly, I must commend the referee. I had to send him a text and call him because when I saw the picture of what he did, it was like a saving hand indeed.

“He said he was also glad that I am alive and well and he is looking forward to seeing me next season if I am still there.”

The 22-year-old Imperial Soccer Academy graduate also revealed the reaction of his family members after the incident.

“For my wife, it was something I can’t explain. My agent kept calling her because she was alone in the house watching the game,” he added.

“My family, my mum and my dad were crying and I had to call them immediately I regained consciousness to tell them that everything is fine before they believed I was fine.

“It was a really scary experience. My dad tried to be strong. He said he was praying that everything would be fine, but when my brother started crying he couldn’t hold it anymore so he started crying also. And then my mum joined in.”

Awoniyi missed his side’s last two games of the season and will hope to return to action during Mainz’s pre-season games.

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