Australian triathlete Aaron Royle is hopeful of returning to full training in two weeks after being released from a Spanish hospital earlier today.
The ITU Under 23 World Champion had spent 10 days in isolation in a clinic in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Basque Country, after falling ill following a Grand Prix race a week after the Madrid World Championship round.
Royle admitted it was the scariest time of his life after doctors found a 12mm abscess on his left lung, initially believing it to be either tuberculosis or a tumour.
It was later found Royle had suffered two â€œnasty bacterial infectionsâ€ causing pneumonia and the abscess.
â€œFrom that first diagnosis I was treated as if I did have TB and I could no longer be in the presence of other people without wearing a medical mask,â€ said Royle.
â€œI won’t lie, going to sleep with the possibility of having either TB or a tumour sent shivers down my spine.
â€œI have always said that cancer is extremely scary; it doesn’t discriminate or pick and choose. You can be the healthiest person in the world and still be struck with cancer.
â€œThe specialist performed a bronchoscopy to extract tissue from the affected area so that it could be sent for testing.
â€œAfter a few days I was told that I did not have Tuberculosis or a tumour, but what it was, was still unknown – obviously I was happy to hear that news.
â€œI then had to wait another three days until the results came back explaining it was two nasty bacterial infections, which caused pneumonia and an abscess on the lung.â€
After a week of intravenous antibiotics Royle has been prescribed further courses of antibiotics to be taken over the next four weeks to cure the pneumonia.
He has already started â€œvery light trainingâ€ and depending on how his body responds could be back to full training within two weeks.
Royle said he wanted to publicly thank all the doctors and nurses who were looking after him.
â€œI know in those first few days when I was in Isolation the nurses protocol was to come in, do their job and leave the room immediately making sure they minimised contracting the possible TB,â€ Royle said.
â€œA couple of the nurses would later sit in the room and have a chat, or simply just watch part of a Rugby game I was watching, even though they knew nothing about Rugby.
â€œAlso I want to express how appreciative I am of the Triathlon Australia’s High Performance staff, medical director Dr Mark Young, HP Director Bernard Savage and nutritionist Greg Cox.
â€œDr Mark spent a lot of time ensuring me that everything was going as expected and informing me of what to expect.
â€œEach time after speaking with Mark I was left at ease with the process.
â€œI often wondered how I would have handled my time in hospital if it had been without Mark and all of Triathlon Australia’s help.
â€œA special shout out also for our man on the ground IÃ±igo Mujika who provided medical access and assisted with communication as required and checked up on me each night so daily reports could be relayed to Australia.
â€œLastly thank you to everyone who has sent me well wishes over the past couple of weeks, I’m very appreciative of everyone taking the time to wish me well.â€
MEANWHILE, Australia’s Olympic bronze medallist Erin Densham will make her long awaited return to competition at this weekend’s ITU World Cup in Edmonton alongside fellow Aussie girl Gillian Backhouse while in the men’s field, Victorian Peter Kerr will lead a strong contingent of Nick Kastelein, Mitch Kealey, Matt Brown, Marcel Walkington and Joel Tobin-White All details here