Thursday, June 29, 2017 10:06:44 PM
When Brazilian goalkeeper Jakson Follmann took his first steps since surviving a plane crash that wiped out his football club, he called it a win -- with his hardest ever season just starting.
Follmann was the reserve goalie of Chapecoense, which went from the most feelgood team in football-mad Brazil to a national tragedy.
This was a lowly club that had fought its way to the finals of the regional Copa Sudamericana regional tournament. Then on November 28, almost the whole team was wiped out when the plane flying the players to Medellin, Colombia, for the big game crashed.
Seventy one people died, including the star first choice goalkeeper Danilo. Follmann lost his right leg but was one of six miraculous survivors. Now the athlete, 24, is drawing on all his competitive spirit and discipline to rebuild his life. "My main desire now is to be able to stand up, to walk," he told AFP at the rehab center where he is learning to walk with a prosthetic leg and to overcome multiple other injuries.
Almost three months after the accident he has taken his first unaided steps. There's much more to come. "I want to be able to go alone to the bathroom, to brush my teeth. All the
simple things that people barely notice usually," he said.
Follmann left his home in the southern city of Alecrim when he was just 13, working his way through the gritty lower leagues, but always dreaming of making it to the first division.
The tragic reversal of what had seemed like a fairy tale success has not broken Follmann.
"Crying over this and feeling sorry for myself will not help," he said in a soft voice.
Follmann may be up again, but after several operations and 56 days in hospital every step is filled with pain. Since February he's been doing physiotherapy in Sao Paulo with Doctor Jose Andre Carvalho and his progress has been better than expected.
In addition to losing his right leg below the knee, his left ankle wasbadly injured, he broke several bones and needed an operation on his spine.
It's a battering that has required him to hold back his sportsman's instinct for action.
"When I began taking my first steps without crutches I wanted to go up and
down staircases. My first thought was to do as much as I could, but I know
that for now I can't and that I have to respect my body," he said.
Still, he says that physical challenges are something he's used to and he
follows the doctor's physiotherapy instructions with the kind of
concentration he used to deploy in goal.
"I don't consider myself an ex-athlete. To the contrary: I see myself as
even more of an athlete than before," he said with a laugh.
In the future, he might turn to Paralympic sports, Follmann says. Trying
out wheelchair volleyball made him think that "limitations are all in your
- Dark memories -
Despite his fighting spirit, Follmann prefers to look to the future than
back to the recent past.
For weeks after his accident, he asked family and friends not to talk
about the crash. He did not want to know the details, or to watch television,
where news of the disaster played constantly.
Waking in hospital in Colombia, "I knew something very serious had
happened because I saw I was badly hurt. I realized that the last time I'd
been OK was back in the airplane," he said, with his eyes downcast.
In Colombia "I cried a lot. I was very emotional," he said. "But once I
arrived in Brazil, I began to gather my strength to face things."
Sports Reporter :The three-match T20 I series between England and South Africa was concluded recently. After the series, International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the top ten T20 I batsmen, bowlers and all-rounders.According to the latest ICC ranking Sabbir Rahman has taken the tenth spot in the list of the T20 ...
HUMAN trafficking has worsened in Bangladesh from Tier 2 in the previous five consecutive years to Tier 2 'Watch List' this time. The US Human Trafficking Report -2017 released by the State Department on Tuesday made the point making it clear that Bangladesh government is not doing enough to stop ...
Entertainment Report :Veteran film and television actor Nazmul Huda Bachchu has passed away. The 78-year-old died while undergoing treatment at city’s Square Hospital around 4:00am on Wednesday. Bachchu was down with fever two days before Eid after returning from a shoot, said his wife Lina. He was admitted to the ...
BBC Online :Qatar's foreign minister has condemned its Gulf neighbours for refusing to negotiate over their demands for restoring air, sea and land links.Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani said the stance was "contrary to the principles" of international relations.Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt accuse Qatar of aiding ...
THE nation is set to celebrate EID-UL-FITR on Monday subject to sighting of the moon of Shawal. It is also known as the 'Feast of Breaking the Fast' through the whole month of Ramzan. Preparations are afoot throughout the country to end the fasting through festivities. Eid is an important ...
It was recently reported that Shah Rukh Khan will do a cameo in Ranbir Kapoor’s Jagga Jasoos, however contrary to the rumours it emerges that Shah Rukh Khan will not be seen in Anurag Basu’s musical adventure featuring Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif. Sources close to the film rubbishes the ...
AP, New York :Ivanka Trump must testify in a dispute with an Italian shoemaker over one of her company's shoe designs, a judge said Friday.U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest rejected a request by the senior White House aide's lawyers that she be blocked from submitting to a deposition in the ...
AS the Eid-ul-Fitr is knocking the door, home-bound passengers are taking long journey on highways and using Railways and Waterways to reach families overnight. There is acrimonious scene all over and we must say the government must ensure discipline at critical places to avoid mishap. The weather is however good ...
Abdul Muqit Chowdhury :Iftar Mahfil has become a tradition in the Holy Ramzan. Such gathering, if it is a positive approach to contribute to fraternal relation in the society, is surely acceptable. Sharing the joy of fasting irrespective of social status and class is praiseworthy.This reflects allegiance to the Islamic ...
Alia Bhatt is all set to feature in Meghna Gulzar’s next, Raazi. The actress would be seen playing a Kashmiri girl marries to a Pakistani army officer in the espionage thriller. Raazi portrays the story of a Kashmiri girl married to a Pakistani army officer who would provide Indian intelligence ...
Reuters, Washington :U.S. Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled their version of legislation that would replace Obamacare, proposing to kill a tax on the wealthy that pays for it and reduce aid to the poor to cut costs.With Democrats deeply opposed to Republican attempts to overhaul former President Barack Obama's signature ...