by Waylon Galvez
Phoenix Fuel forward Doug Kramer is thankful that despite suffering a mild stroke recently, he realizes that it could have been worst had it happened to him during a game.
The 6-foot-4 Kramer, who recently joined the Fuel Masters in a trade with Globalport, had a surgery last month after doctors found out he had a congenital hole in his heart.
“I got really dizzy (while working out),” said the 33-year-old Kramer.
“When I went to the hospital, everything was negative. But in the last test, an MRI test… they saw that I had a clot. I was very wobbly. They performed a 2D Echo and they were able to see a congenital hole.”
“The doctors addressed it right away,” said Kramer, adding that doctors placed a small device in his heart that would help close the congenital hole as it heals from the surgery.
Kramer confessed that the question ‘why me?’ entered his mind.
“I’ve never had any problems, I’m healthy. That’s why at first when it happened to me, I’m asking, ‘why me?’ I have no vices, I had no health problems; I was working out (almost everyday),” said Kramer.
“I was practicing, training for the all-Filipino conference. But after that, I realized that worst thing could have happened to me. I also realized that if it happened to me, it can also happen to others,” he said.
That is why Kramer, after what he went through and with the recent death of Blackwater forward Gilbert Bulawan, he is now pushing for the league to include a thorough heart check up to every player even during pre-season or in every start of the tournament.
“It’s a good thing the PBA takes care of us. Our commissioner’s has done steps,” Kramer said. “Because of what happened to Gilbert Bulawan, it’s better to have 2D Echo. By next year, we have to do annual check up.”
As for his recovery, Kramer, who has career averages of 5.62 points and 5.64 rebounds, he said that he’s very positive on his comeback, which he hopes to do by next conference.
“I’m ok… God is good,” said Kramer, who is now on his 10th year in the PBA.
“He’s protecting me from a lot worse. I’m glad I’m here talking to you guys now. I’ve been doing cardio. By next year, January I can start playing one-on-one, then slowly to five-on-five,” he added.