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Every child faces challenges at school. The first obstacle for me to overcome contained two of the most terrifying syllables in the English language: rugby.
For the first time in the school’s four-hundred-year history, a boy was exempt from playing rugby: and that boy was me. Doctors at the Eye Hospital felt that the vascular activity around my eye and brain was a serious enough issue that I shouldn’t engage in any contact sport. The fear was that this arteriovenous malformation (or ‘the worms’ as our family called them) could become damaged if I took a hit, and potentially cause bleeding in the brain. I think there were also concerns that somehow the syndrome could pass over to the other eye, or in some way damage the eye. I didn’t really understand — I just knew I would never experience the joy of a sticking my head between another boy’s legs.