‘Devastated’ Wales international Andrew Coombs reveals personal pain of ‘heartbreaking’ dementia diagnosis

Andrew Coombs revealed he was diagnosed with dementia and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy eight months ago

Former Wales international Andrew Coombs has revealed he has been diagnosed with dementia and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.

The well-known TV analyst says that telling his kids the news was one of the toughest things he has ever done. He has spoken up about his illness on social networking site X, formerly known as Twitter. Coombs was one of the 76 athletes from Wales who were listed as plaintiffs in the concussion action filed earlier this week in the High Court against World Rugby, the Rugby Football Union, and the Welsh Rugby Union.

Along with fellow Welsh internationals Morgan Stoddart, Dafydd James, Darren Morris, Rhys Gill, Ian Gough, Emyr Lewis, and former Wales and Lions players Gavin Henson and Colin Charvis were also named.Here’s where you can learn more about it.

According to Coombs on X, “I’m writing to share some personal news that has deeply impacted my life and the lives of my loved ones.” “I had been experiencing symptoms for around four years when I was finally diagnosed with dementia and chronic traumatic encephalopathy eight months ago.

“I first became aware of this when I was a featured guest on a live ScrumV Sunday show, when the conversations about CTE symptoms struck a profound chord with me. Making the decision to consult a doctor was difficult.

But it was crucial that I comprehend the changes that were occurring inside of me. Although the diagnosis was devastating, it provided answers to a lot of the issues that had been bothering me and nagging in the back of my mind for a while.

“The changes put significant strain on my marriage and happiness. Sharing this news with my children was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

“The reality of my health situation is difficult to accept, and I didn’t want this diagnosis to become my identity, as my knee injury did back in 2014. There are trial drugs available for my condition, and I am hopeful to join the trials as soon as a spot opens up.

My ability to plan ahead and prioritize my family’s future has also improved since learning of my condition. Additionally, it has made my family’s understanding of the odd character and behavior changes easier.

The 38-year-old former lock for the Dragons, who has 10 caps for Wales, has promised to use his position as a TV commentator to inform those who are unaware of or unable to embrace the negative effects of frequent head hits in rugby.

“It’s encouraging to see the efforts being made to protect player health, as rugby has always played a big part in my life,” he continued. But there’s still a lot of work to be done.

“My commitment to educate people who underestimate the significance of these health concerns is fueled by my job as a commentator for the BBC and S4C, where I emphasize that rugby has changed from its historical roots. My goal is to educate those who are unwilling to make the required adjustments, and I’m dedicated to carrying out this objective through my participation in these outstanding programs.

“I do have some concerns about the people in charge of controlling the health hazards brought on by frequent head injuries and concussions. It’s acceptable if some people don’t understand why I decided to take the legal action.

Sadly, I am unable to discuss the personal events that influenced this choice at this time, which may have offered greater context. Even though my diagnosis has crushed me, my soul is unbroken, and oddly, the diagnosis has offered me clarity and relief by answering a lot of my concerns.

I’m making every effort to be authentic, living life to the fullest, and preventing my illness from destroying my mental well-being. Your support and concern, dear friends and coworkers who have contacted out, mean more to us than words can say.


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