“I have a limited amount of brain energy per day”: Black Carl Hayman formerly suffers from dementia

“I have a limited amount of brain energy per day”: Black Carl Hayman formerly suffers from dementia

“It’s like seeing your phone only 30% charged when you wake up and knowing you’re going to have to hold it all day. The picture is as telling as it is bone-chilling. At just 43 years old, former black footballer Carl Heymann is experiencing the first signs of dementia, a disease that affects hundreds of former rugby players who have taken legal action.

“It basically means I have a limited amount of brain power every day,” says the former New Zealand prop, who now complains of memory loss and has even admitted to having suicidal thoughts due to the progression of his neurological disease. “This is the best way to sum up my situation and you always have to be careful about what you do and how you want to spend that energy.”

Like him, an increasing number of rugby players, as well as other sports players, admit that they suffer from neurological disorders (permanent brain damage, early-onset dementia, post-traumatic epilepsy, depression, etc.) due to repeated traumas during their careers. The former All Blacks and Toulon player, who recently returned for a few days to celebrate his Hall of Fame induction, played more than 400 games in his career, including 45 with selection, before retiring in 2015.

“everyone is an ostrich”

Along with former players with similar disorders such as former English hooker Steve Thompson or Welsh third-line Alex Popham, he also joined a collective action to denounce the inaction of various authorities in recent years.

“I did not join this legal action for financial reasons, but to see the sport change from within, it has justified itself. To take better care of the players.” He campaigns in particular for the development of the calendar in order to reduce the infernal rhythms that players face. “Does it make sense to play 10 months out of the year? Do players have to play every weekend, every year for 10 months?” asks Hyman, who now sells boat trips in New Zealand.

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“I have my own little idea because I’ve been a part of it all. All these discussions have to take place as quickly as possible, or else they’re going to be detrimental to our sport,” he still ruled. “I don’t think this track will be traveled in five months, but it’s going to be great because this The topic is still a bit of a taboo in sports and everyone is in Naama. »

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