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Old 10-09-2010, 01:05 AM   #1
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Default Steelers' Eason contributing again after medical scare

Steelers' Eason contributing again after medical scare
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...s_703464.html#
By John Harris
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, October 9, 2010

Steelers defensive end Nick Eason recorded his first sack in two years in a recent win against Tampa Bay.

It gave him pause because a few months earlier, he was so sick he didn't know if he was going to survive, much less play football again.

"There was a point when I was in the hospital, I didn't think I was going to make it out of there," Eason said about having his appendix and part of his colon removed less than two months before the start of training camp. "I was told appendix surgery is really minor, takes about 20 minutes. I was under for two hours.

"They removed a small part of my (colon) because bacteria had seeped from the appendix into my bowels. I just had so many complications infections, high blood pressure, high fever, my bowels being inflamed. Every day was something different."

Eason's recovery period, initially expected to last two weeks, was extended to six weeks one week before the opening of training camp in late July.

Still, Eason's focus was participating in the conditioning run that takes place when players report to camp.

"(Coach) Mike (Tomlin) told me we probably weren't going to let Nick run because he didn't have a lot of time to get in shape. When I saw him in the hospital, there was a question in my mind whether he would be able to come back," defensive line coach John Mitchell said. "Nick came to me and said, 'I can do it; I want to do it.' That shows you the type of guy Nick is."

Added Eason: "The only way I'm going to get in shape is just throw myself in there. That first week of camp, I felt nauseated and lightheaded every day. I'm thinking, 'Man, what am I doing?' "

Miraculously, Eason regained his stamina and strength to become an important part of a defensive-line rotation that specializes in stopping the run. This week, the Steelers rank No. 1 in the NFL against the run.

Eason's teammates appreciate what he overcame to return to the field so quickly and effectively.

"This summer, really, he should have died," starting right defensive end Brett Keisel said. "He got into the hospital late, and they didn't understand what was wrong. The guy barely gets out of his hospital bed and has to report to training camp. He practiced all through camp and never let it be an excuse."

Added Aaron Smith, the Steelers' other starting defensive end: "Not many guys would be playing here right now with all the things he had to deal with."

Eason, 30, is a realist about his career. He's an eight-year veteran who has played with three teams in a backup role. His four-year stint with the Steelers is his longest with any team.

Eason, whose father recently suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed on his right side and whose mother is recovering from cancer, already is pondering life after football. He's 1 1/2 years away from obtaining his second master's degree after becoming the first player at Clemson to graduate with two years of eligibility remaining.

"You've always got to be working toward Plan B life after football," said Eason, who wants to remain in athletics, perhaps as a coach or administrator, when his playing days are over. "I'm not a $100 million guy.

"Don't get me wrong, I've made a lot of money compared to the average person. But I can't live off what I make for the rest of my life. I'm going to have to get a job. I have to plan for life after football now."

John Harris can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.
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Old 10-09-2010, 07:34 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers' Eason contributing again after medical scare

This is a great article. Not just because Nick is a tough guy that won't quit, but he's very responsible in setting himself up for success after football is over. Way to take the initiative, get a top notch education and plan for the future!
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Old 10-09-2010, 11:05 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers' Eason contributing again after medical scare

Guys like this inspire me to always work hard and believe that it can be done. Thanks Nick for your determination and hard work...not just for the Steelers, but more importantly, for your own life.
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Old 10-09-2010, 05:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers' Eason contributing again after medical scare

Awesome article. Actually choked me up a bit as I was reading it-- I can sympathize with some of it. I almost lost both of my parents this last year. Mom had a heart attack in August of last year, pops had one on Christmas day. I got to spend a month and a half spoon-feeding my mother and nursing her back to health, and she has lots of other health issues (rheumatoid arthritis, a stroke a few years back, recent bout with pneumonia) that demand a lot of my attention each weekend. Wife in and out of jobs and had her own health issues, leaving me as primary bread-winner. Family pet died (and I ended up shelling out about $2k from my pocket to try and keep the little bugger going).

Under all the strain I seem to have developed hypertension and some depression/panic attack problems (which I refuse to take medication for) during the last year, and I have never had a history of either.

I just keep chugging on though-- wife and I want to buy our first house and am working towards a big promotion at work and those keep me going. All of us get dealt some really bad cards in life at times, but how we respond is what is most important....do you fold or keep fighting?
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Old 10-10-2010, 12:06 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers' Eason contributing again after medical scare

Quote:
Originally Posted by Riddle_Of_Steel View Post
Awesome article. Actually choked me up a bit as I was reading it-- I can sympathize with some of it. I almost lost both of my parents this last year. Mom had a heart attack in August of last year, pops had one on Christmas day. I got to spend a month and a half spoon-feeding my mother and nursing her back to health, and she has lots of other health issues (rheumatoid arthritis, a stroke a few years back, recent bout with pneumonia) that demand a lot of my attention each weekend. Wife in and out of jobs and had her own health issues, leaving me as primary bread-winner. Family pet died (and I ended up shelling out about $2k from my pocket to try and keep the little bugger going).

Under all the strain I seem to have developed hypertension and some depression/panic attack problems (which I refuse to take medication for) during the last year, and I have never had a history of either.

I just keep chugging on though-- wife and I want to buy our first house and am working towards a big promotion at work and those keep me going. All of us get dealt some really bad cards in life at times, but how we respond is what is most important....do you fold or keep fighting?
Man dude i know what your goin thru. Family health issues, losing a family pet. I know it cost us a bundle to keep our pet going as well. With all of that then losing my job, and now having to take a lower paying job. I to am dealing with the depression and panic attacks, its hard to shake it off and most people think thats easy to do and its not. Losing a good paying job after 16 years isnt that easy to get over, trust me!. Seems like the whole world is crashing all at once. The worst part is most times theres no one to talk to about it. They tell you it will pass in time. Not sure of that.
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