Andreas Lilja does not remember his hockey career
(Google Translate from expressen.se)
To understand, we need to go back to February 28, 2009 and a fight late in the game between Detroit and Nashville where Andreas Lilja is knocked twice by Shea Weber.
He was obviously showing symptoms of concussion but continued to train in the hope of returning to the playoffs.
It was his seventh total concussion of his career.
“We had won the Stanley Cup the year before and thought we had a chance to win it again. I tried to stay fit so that I could play as soon as the headaches were gone. But knowing the end result today, I would have give it a rest.”
“I had headaches non stop from morning to evening and generally felt sick. Everything was foggy. I couldn’t stand anything and was tired all the time.”
Andreas Lilja didn’t play again that season.
The headaches didn’t go away and after the summer, he was forced to run some brain scans and the results were not positives.
“I had a lot of blood vessels forming a ball that were sitting on the outside of the brain. Venous angioma. The doctor said to me: “I can’t allow you to play, if you get a tackle and it breaks then you are brain dead on the spot because it fits together with the head pulse vein”.
“It was a knife in the stomach, all the air went out of one.”
“I just wanted to play hockey. There were no obstacles for me. I had no intentions of stopping playing hockey, but only of how I would get around this.
“My wife was very worried. But unfortunately, I didn’t get rid of my skates. I Still had the drive to play Hockey”
At the same time, Andreas Lilja was assured that the doctor’s message was related to the fact that a former player in the team, Jiri Fischer, had to play despite having a rather serious heart defect that the doctor knew about. In 2005, he collapsed on the bench during a match.
However, Andreas didn’t stop there.
After a time traveling in the United States, he finally had three doctors who determined that the “ball” was not connected to the main pulmonary artery but to a normal blood vessel.
Instead, the worst thing that could happen now was a an epileptic seizure.
So a year later, the Swedish was back on the ice and so were the headheachs.
Andreas was also forced to play without insurance.
No one wanted responsibility for his health in that situation.
But it went well. Andreas Lilja continued for three more seasons in North America before moving home and finishing with two seasons in Rögle.
Sources & Credits: expressen.se / Google Translate