Just a few months ago, Hamilton Kangaroos assistant coach Tim Meulendyks was fighting for his life. Now he is fighting to make a return to playing senior football.
After signing with his home club as its star recruit ahead of the 2018 Hampden Football Netball League season, the 24-year-old had a cardiac arrest while driving and spent the next two-and-a-half months in Melbourne’s The Alfred Hospital.
Meulendyks underwent several operations, had a defibrillator inserted and lost a staggering 10 kilograms.
Last Wednesday he was eventually released from hospital and the very next day the midfielder/forward was running laps of Melville Oval at Hamilton Kangaroos training.
This was stage one of his incredible comeback story.
“I wanted to play on the weekend,” Meulendyks said from his family’s property near Penshurst.
“But I have to wait a few more weeks and get a few more tick offs from a few more people.
“The doctors probably don’t want me to play, at least for a while. So I’ve just got to try and get the doctors to say that it is all right.
“Footy has been really the only thing I have been concerned about and have asked the doctors about.
“I am happy to try and take it steady with everything else, but I am trying to really push to get back to play footy.”
Despite not playing on Saturday, Meulendyks’ presence helped spur on his Hamilton Kangaroos teammates, who won their first game of the season with a 28-point victory over Cobden.