A former first round draft pick who missed almost all of last season has just shared the details of why he was unable to play in the 2017-2018 National Hockey League regular season and it's a pretty horrifying story.
Fans in Anaheim may have been frustrated that 34 year old veteran forward Patrick Eaves only suited up in 2 games for their Ducks last season but they will likely have considerably more time for Eaves once they hear just what he suffered through while missing those games. Eaves knew something was wrong with him early on in the season but being the kind of tough guy that would expect a National Hockey League player to be he did everything in his power to fight and play through whatever it was that was impacting him.
That being said though Eaves really hit a wall when playing against the Colorado Avalanche early on in the regular season, a wall that was caused by the fact that he could barely draw breath while out on the ice. Eaves, again a very tough character, admitted that he felt fear that night while out on the ice.
“That’s the most scared I’ve ever been on the ice,” Eaves saidas per Anaheim Ducks insider Eric Stephens. “I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t get out of the way. I couldn’t do anything.”
Unfortunately for Eaves things would only get worse from there. He consulted with a host of medical professionals in an attempt to find out what was happening to his body. Although he was initially diagnosed with a very rare disease that diagnosis was changed and by the sounds of things doctor's still aren't exactly sure what affected the NHL veteran. One thing is certain though, things got so bad for Eaves that he ended up in the intensive care unit of a hospital when his entire body began to shut down, including his lungs.
“I was in ICU and I couldn’t move because the blankets felt like they were 500 pounds and I’m just sitting there having trouble breathing,” Eaves said. “It got pretty scary.
“I didn’t feel like I was going to die but it scared me when the breathing started to go. I couldn’t walk.
It wasn't just the fear of losing his hockey career that was devastating to Eaves either, this was a problem that seemingly had much more long lasting and profound ramifications if things continued down the dark path they were headed down.
“You’re thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, am I ever going to be able to walk normally? Am I ever going to be able to play with my children the way I want to? Am I going to be the husband I want to be?’ Those things are going through your mind with those struggles,” said Mike Barwis, the man Eaves credits for his recovery.
After several long months of training with Barwis Eaves was eventually able to regain control of his body and in fact has recovered so much that both he and the Ducks fully expect him to be back on the ice for the 2018-2019 NHL regular season. Eaves credit Barwis as well as the constant support from his wife Katie Eaves for his ability to bounce back from such awful circumstances.
“I realized, I’m going to be a dad again. It was unbelievable,” said Eaves as he started to get better.
Here's to hoping that whatever it is that ailed him is gone for good.