Newcastle Knights centre Dane Gagai has opened up about his health scare in Round 19 that had the potential to affect his future as a professional athlete.
After being assessed and given a clean bill of health, a relieved Gagai got through his return match on the weekend.
“When I was warming up just before I went into the sheds to head back out to the field I felt a bit light headed,” the 24-year-old said.
“I wasn’t too sure what it was.
“I got out there and in the first few minutes me heart just started racing and I had an irregular heartbeat.
“I started going really faint and I couldn’t breath properly.
“The oxygen just wasn’t getting around properly.
“I ended up getting through the first half hoping it would pass."
At half time the Club’s doctors assessed Gagai before he was taken to hospital.
"They got me into the medical room and got me wired up and they could see that my heartbeats were irregular and they had to take me to hospital,” he said.
The next step for Gagai was to undergo a procedure that would see his heart beat regulated.
“They had to sedate me and get the defibulator and I guess get my heart beat back to normal again,” he explained.
“I saw a specialist on Thursday and he said it’s nothing to be to be too concerned about and that it’s not uncommon in athletes to get it."
While there is no cure for the condition and it may reappear, it’s not expected to affect the way he plays or trains.
Gagai was cleared to return to training the following Friday and took the field against the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Saturday night.
“He (the specialist) said go about your day like you normally do and I just have to keep an eye on it,” he said.
“It was obviously a bit of a frightening thing, he said it may come back again and my heart may start beating irregularly again, but if I don’t get the dizzy spells again, I can play through it fine.
“Hopefully it doesn’t come back again too soon.
"I know what to look out for now and I definitely won’t stay out there as long as I did.”