Adam Beard has revealed the full drama behind his pre-World Cup appendix condition – and being deemed too dangerous to fly on health grounds.
Beard says that Wales’ medical staff feared the World Cup squad’s Tokyo-bound plane might have had to make an emergency landing had he boarded it.
And after arriving at Heathrow on Wales’ World Cup departure day, he was promptly driven back to Cardiff on the same team bus and straight into an accident and emergency unit.
While the Wales squad set off for the tournament without him, 23-year-old Ospreys forward Beard underwent surgery to have his appendix removed before arriving in Japan 11 days ago.
“I started having stomach cramps just before travelling on the Wednesday,” he said.
“I didn’t think anything of it, really. I text our doctor when I got up on the Wednesday morning and said I had a bit of a bad stomach and could I have some tablets.
“We were travelling as a squad up to Heathrow, and my stomach was getting worse and a bit more painful.
“When we got to Heathrow the doctors assessed me, and when they were feeling around it was a bit painful around the appendix.
“It was felt I wasn’t fit enough to fly and that I had to be seen back at the Heath (Hospital) in Cardiff. As the doctor expected, it was appendicitis, so I got in, had the operation (three or four hours later) and it was successful.
“I am on the mend now, so I was lucky I didn’t get on the flight. That could have been dangerous.
“The doctors were all saying that. They were saying they would probably have had to get the plane to make an emergency landing.
“I had a bus to myself on the way back – a big 52-seater! It drove up to the accident and emergency entrance, and I got out on my own!
“It must have been a bit weird for the people who were inside looking out. Fair play to the bus driver Andy. I owe him a lot.”
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) October 3, 2019
Beard headed to Japan more than a week late after being given the all-clear to fly, and he is now on the mend – although not before losing three or four kilograms in weight.
He linked up with the squad in Toyota City ahead of Wales’ tournament opener against Georgia, and he continues to make progress towards being fully fit.
“I am a lot better than what I was,” he added.
“I lost a bit of my appetite and about three or four kilos. My appetite is back and I was given a bit of a free rein when I got out here. I could eat whatever I wanted.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) October 2, 2019
“I’m doubling up on everything now at every meal. Normally, I would have four eggs and two pieces of toast with breakfast, but now I’m having porridge and fruit, too, and that bit extra with every meal.
“I’ve been told to eat as much as I want as training is going to be hard to get back fit. I am trying to double up on everything, so I am doing about 5,000 calories a day.
“I am integrating back into training. First and foremost, I know that health is the most important.
“I am going to do my best to be up for selection (against Fiji). If it is not meant to be, it’s not, and then hopefully I can be up for selection a few days later for Uruguay.
“The feeling in the camp is buzzing after two wins. We want to top this pool, and there is no point in beating Australia if we don’t make it four from four.
“We are definitely keeping our minds on Fiji and not looking too far ahead.”
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