The moments before Mbye's brush with death

 

It was 10.21am on Friday in the Maroons' team hotel.

I had just finished a late breakfast after interviewing Queensland fullback Kalyn Ponga and decided to head for a quick walk to get some fresh air when I turned the corner and bumped into another Maroon.

It was Moses Mbye.

It came as no surprise that he was jovial, cheerful and engaging as we crossed paths and shook hands.

 

Former Queensland player Johnathan Thurston with Moses Mbye. Picture AAP/Darren England
Former Queensland player Johnathan Thurston with Moses Mbye. Picture AAP/Darren England

We laughed about a story I had written that very day in The Courier-Mail, which revealed Mbye's Origin match payments, on top of his NRL salary, added up to make him the code's latest $1 million player.

"The boys are giving it to me," said Mbye with a laugh. "At least my manager is happy."

Beside him stood a Maroons staff member. They walked into a lift. As the doors closed, there was no evidence of the health scare about to take place.

Mbye walked straight to his hotel room. He had woken up feeling a little tired. He suspected he might be a bit rundown. Maybe a cold or flu was coming on.

Dr Matt Hislop with his team. Picture: Adam Head
Dr Matt Hislop with his team. Picture: Adam Head

Within minutes, Mbye sensed something more sinister. He began to itch and wheeze. He could feel his throat tightening, as if being crushed by a boa-constrictor. He couldn't breathe. He quickly called Queensland team doctor Matt Hislop, struggling slightly to dial his number.

Hislop, staying on the same floor, grabbed his medical kit and rushed to the room. By then Mbye was in real trouble and had just managed to open the door for Hislop, who immediately reached for a dose of adrenaline to stop the allergic reaction.

Mbye later told team insiders the incident could have been fatal. Tests in the coming days will attempt to find some answers, but the blessing is that Mbye is still alive.



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