Kevin McDonald as soon as feared for his life however is grateful for a second probability – after scoring his first aim since a kidney transplant.
The midfielder grabbed Exeter’s second in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Cambridge to cap his comeback.
The former Scotland worldwide acquired a kidney from his brother, Fraser, in May 2021 having performed with kidney illness since he was 18.
An extended restoration – which included months in a household isolation bubble in the course of the Covid pandemic – was wanted earlier than any return and McDonald is aware of the place he has come again from.
“You’re always worried for your life because if something goes wrong you’re not waking up again,” he stated
“I didn’t dwell on things but you are worried for your life because anything can happen, it’s such an intricate operation. I’d watched one on the TV before and I’m sitting there thinking ‘f*** me’. It’s intense stuff.
“I can’t imagine what mum and dad were thinking because my brother was going in as well. I was also thinking ‘what if I come out and I’m a different character, a different person, I don’t enjoy myself or feel the same?’
“But the hardest time was saying goodbye to my partner (Lucy) before she dropped me off at the hospital. That was an emotional time.”
His aim in opposition to Cambridge, his first since scoring for Fulham at Millwall in April 2018, got here simply eight days after the beginning of daughter Darcy. She joins Layla, who was born solely two months after McDonald’s transplant.
The 34-year-old had been enjoying with IgA nephropathy, a kidney illness, since he was 18 however his situation deteriorated a lot it had left him with just one working kidney, which was performing at simply 10 per cent.
It meant a transplant or dialysis and his physique initially started to reject his brother’s kidney at Guy’s Hospital earlier than being allowed house 18 days later.
Fast ahead to the beginning of final yr and McDonald joined Dundee United, enjoying 11 occasions, earlier than transferring to Exeter till the top of the season in January.
He has made 4 appearances with Saturday’s aim, a curling effort into the underside nook, sealing victory and the previous Wolves star is decided to get pleasure from his soccer with the Grecians twelfth in League One.
“I’ve been mentally strong throughout the whole process. I’m proud of myself and it’s probably a testament to my own character to get through that and have a desire to continue to play,” stated McDonald, who gained two promotions to the Premier League in 5 years at Fulham earlier than leaving in 2021.
“I’ve always been quite a laid-back character and never took many things for granted. I never put too much pressure on myself, in all aspects of life.
“I’m probably more laid back now. Little things, like mistakes in games, it’s just going to happen. It’s going happen to the best players in the world, it’s going to happen to everyone.
“There’s no point in dwelling on mistakes, there’s no point dwelling on things you can’t change – especially in football.
“I didn’t realise my last goal was such a long time ago. It’s always nice to score, I’ve not been blessed with many.
“From a life side of things you’re obviously grateful to be here, grateful to have a great brother, friends and family. I’ve got two daughters, one just born last month. I’m grateful for everything in life.
“As time has gone on, having a transplant, a couple of kids, life does change and you have to enjoy it. Enjoy everything while you can.”