It is a year since Scottish cricket was shocked by the news that Aberdeenshire’s professional was fighting for his life after being diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome.
But now, 12 months later, and despite a battle with Covid-19 following his return to his native South Africa, Solo Nqweni has revealed he is making progress in his bid to return to the game he loves.
He has now issued an emotive message and picture with heartfelt thanks to the medical staff at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for “saving his life”.
The 26-year-old, who was rushed to ARI last July after falling seriously ill, has been forced to embark on a slow recovery process.
He was in an induced coma for four weeks, only breathing with the help of a machine, and it took him months before he could even take solid food again after succumbing to the rare condition where the body’s immune system attacks the nerves, causing weakness and paralysis, sometimes with fatal consequences.
Mr Nqweni, who paid tribute to the medical staff at ARI and his colleagues at Aberdeenshire CC, finally flew home to the Republic in January after being helped by an anonymous benefactor to arrange for an air ambulance and medical support.
However, at the start of May, the Eastern Province all-rounder revealed he was fighting coronavirus and said: “I don’t understand why all this is happening to me.”
But he told the Press and Journal yesterday that he has recovered from his prolonged fight with illness, which also included dealing with a bout of tuberculosis and liver and kidney failure.
This was one of the first times my hand/arm moved. All credit goes to the PT and OT teams at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for pushing me even on the days when I was plainly not up for it. Something so small brought me so much joy! 🙏🏾💪🏾 #FightingGBS pic.twitter.com/PzBXP8bbyu
— Solo Nicholas Nqweni (@SoloNqweni) July 2, 2020
He said: “My recovery is back on track and it is going well. Thankfully, I survived the Covid-19 scare and I’m able to go back to therapy five times a week at the moment.
”I am also now starting to stand and walk in the swimming pool. I am still trying to muster up the strength to do it on land, but I’m confident I am not far away.
”I’m very grateful for all the help and support that I have received both in Aberdeen and here in South Africa.
“All credit goes to the teams at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for pushing me even on the days when I was plainly not up for it. Something so small brought me so much joy.
“I am missing Aberdeen and the club a lot and I absolutely cannot wait to be back on my feet and get the chance to visit again.”
Mr Nqweni has kept in touch with his Mannofield teammates and has wished them well as the club returns to training after months in lockdown.
He added yesterday: “I have seen the posts about the club opening up and that is fantastic news. Hopefully, in the near future, the lads can get some cricket in as well… provided it is safe for everyone.”