IN rugby league, there comes a time when a story or subject takes you completely by surprise.
Well, for former Huddersfield Giants, Hull KR and Leeds Rhinos star Shaun Lunt, that came back in 2018 when he almost his life due to sepsis.
Whilst playing for Hull KR, the hooker went into a tackle, falling awkwardly against an opponent’s hip.
In doing so, Lunt heard ‘a crack’ in his thoracic spine, but it wasn’t until a few weeks later that he received the dreaded news that he could have bacterial meningitis – a disease that can quite often be fatal.
“I got my head on the wrong side of the tackle and I felt a crack in my thoracic. From that trauma in my spine I ended up growing an abscess in my spine from which I got blood poisoning and that led to sepsis,” Lunt told League Express.
“They thought I had bacterial meningitis but I didn’t, it was just sepsis. It was really bad, but I’m good to go now.
“It made me realise a lot of things, I’ve become a lot better person from it and it’s probably what ended my career as I was only 31.
“I know I went on to play for Batley after the injury but I was never the same after that. I was fortunate to have a great career, so I can’t complain.”
After getting home, Lunt was placed on an intravenous drip whilst a nurse came out to his house every day for six weeks to give him antibiotics.
But, that’s where things began to get even harder for the Lunt family as the Cumbrian hit ‘rock bottom.’
“That was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through, not just for me but my family, my wife and kids, they suffered a lot,” Lunt continued.
“I wasn’t myself; I was a totally different person. That was the most down I’ve ever been in my life, I hit rock bottom.
“But I’m grateful for it because I’ve hit my rock bottom and I’ve been able to get back on track.”
In terms of his rugby league career, Lunt played for Huddersfield, Leeds and Hull KR in Super League and has fond memories from all three clubs.
“Winning the Grand Final, what we achieved in 2009 with Huddersfield getting to the Challenge Cup Final and getting promoted at Hull KR are all up there.
“Looking back now and reflecting after being out of the game a couple of years, I had a great time at each club.
“At Leeds I played in a fantastic team but I wasn’t there long enough. If I was there long-term that would probably have been my best time.
“It’s given me a lot and it nearly took my life at one point. I’ve got no regrets and I’m happy I’ve come out of the game. healthy. I still love the game.”