KYLE Critchell has revealed how he is finally starting to enjoy life again a little more than a month after receiving the all-clear from a condition that could have killed him last year.
Speaking to Echosport for the first time since getting the news he was free of the infection that led to him being diagnosed with severe sepsis, Critchell admitted he “shouldn’t really be here” following his brush with death.
The Terras’ midfielder, 27, also paid tribute to his family for helping him get through such a difficult time, in particular his fiancée Kate, who he is getting married to in August.
As for playing football again, Critchell is not making any promises regarding a return to the game, though he feels he would be “stronger than I ever have been” if, or when, he does come back.
For now, after such a life-changing experience, he is just determined to take pleasure from the things that are most important to him.
Commenting on his recovery, he said: “I shouldn’t really be here after going through what I did so I’m just taking every day as it comes.
“Some people who have been in the same situation as me have taken three or four years to recover.
“It’s a miracle that I’ve got through it the way I have. It’s a big sense of relief and words can’t really describe what it feels like to get through it.
“A big part of my recovery was down to Kate and my family, they have all been great, and now I can start moving forward with my life again.
“I’ve gone through quite an ordeal and it does change your outlook on things. I’m enjoying life again and hopefully I can get back to doing all the things I did before the infection.
“The nine or 10 months I had were hell and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, but what it has done is made me appreciate what’s really important in life.”
Critchell endured some tough times in the months following his release from hospital last autumn.
The effects of his illness meant he found a new job at Dorchester Middle School “difficult to cope with”.
However, things have become more settled now for the former Wales under-21 international having gone back to work for his previous employers at Wyvern School in Weymouth.
It has also transpired that he won’t need as major an operation on his hip as first thought, while he is also looking forward to a summer wedding in St Lucia.
And when asked whether the Terras’ fans can expect to see him playing again soon, he added: “I don’t want to make any promises about when I might come back because I’ve been away from football for so long.
“A couple of people have asked me whether I would be the same player if I came back and I think I will be better.
“If anything, my time away has given me the opportunity to rest my body, so I’m going to be stronger than I ever have been.
“But my main focus at the moment is on Kate and my work.”