Thomas Broad’s sporting moment: Footballer Donny van Eybern fights for his life after unfortunate crash on a football field

Sports are regularly applauded for how beautiful they are. But sports can also be very sad. At the beginning of August, footballer Donny van Eyberen of Sint Pancras suffered serious brain damage in a collision during a football match. As a sports reporter, I have mainly been interested in sports in recent years, but how do you deal with this?

Donny van Yperen and Thomas Brod – orange photos

All this is happening in Moldova, where Van Eyperen has recently started playing for FC Zimbru. In only his second match for the club Disasters happen. Sometimes the former Telstar player was wild in his duels, but the collision is like in the match against Dinamo Auto you see in every match. At first glance you think “this isn’t so bad”, but it soon becomes clear that things are very wrong.

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🔰 Donny van Iperen este noul jucător a echipei FC Zimbru! ✍️ Clubul nostru ajuns la un accord privínd achiziționarea …

Posted by Zimbru Chişinău employment Sunday, July 24, 2022

The football player will be taken to the hospital in Chisinau. His family quickly catches up to the plane and despite the good intentions of the people there, it comes as a great shock to them.

Search for contacts

I’m trying to get in touch with the Van Iperen family. I am not sure how to handle this. On the one hand, family members now have something else on their minds, but on the other hand, this is also part of my job.

“I had a feeling we were going back to the 70s. They had a window in the attic for air circulation.”

Brother Joey Van Eyperen

The first days there was no contact with the family. So I get an application from Joey’s brother in the evening. The family is deliberately looking out for the media to bring Donny to the Netherlands. Since the footballer is not properly insured, no hospital in the Netherlands wants to take him in at the moment. After the media coverage Can Donny be accepted?

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“Maybe the doctors were good in there, but I felt like we were back in the ’70s. They opened a window in the attic for air circulation. Donnie was just lying there in a room with other people,” says Joey. On Sister Kiki’s blog you can read updates about Donnie. It is facing reading. The football player does not communicate and does not walk.

Strange goal

Meanwhile, my thoughts wander to a strange target Van Iperen once made. In Telstar’s home match against Fortuna Sittard, the defender is still sneaky Hanging behind the Limburgers’ guard. He throws the ball to the ground for a forward kick and then Van Eyperen waves from behind. He takes the ball and taps it. Donnie cheers and screams. What a strange goal. What a stark contrast to her current situation.

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In recent years I have been in regular contact with Donny. Sometimes it was for my work at NH Sport after the Telstar game. But sometimes not. His mother passed away a few years ago and the footballer was going through that. Because my father passed away too, we had something in common and talked about the deaths of our loved ones.

At the end of July he texted me to tell me about it After two seasons, Greek AE Karaiskakis Artas was replaced by Moldavian FC Zimbru. I joked that it would be nice if he got paid. Van Eyperen replied, “I checked FIFA. After Sherif, it is the second club in the country. Everything is well organized here. The situation is worse in Greece.”

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FC Coliseum

He also thought it was very funny that I had recently called Telstar FC Grandstand because there were a few guys from that real estate agency playing football in Velsen-Zuid. He said he had just parted company and arranged the move for FC Zimbru himself.

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Professional Shots / Henk Jan Dix

So the family has to make a huge effort to bring the footballer to the Netherlands. Eventually he was accepted to the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam. The family drives daily from North Holland to Rotterdam. It is very difficult for them to see how Donny behaves. These are very difficult weeks, but he will be speaking at the end of August his first words From.

“We know how strong Donnie is and how hard he fights, he will win this in the end”

Brother Joey Van Eypreen

Joey’s brother replied in early September, “We hope this heralds the next phase of recovery and that we stay focused on rehab. We know how strong Donnie is and how hard he’s fought, and he’ll eventually get over this.”

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Donny van Eyperen at his apartment in Heliomar – Kiki van Eyperen

In October, van Eyperen was transferred to the Heliomar rehabilitation center in Wijk aan Zee. There, the football player continues to work on his recovery. After his first words, he is now also moving his first steps. At the end of November I will visit Joy. At the kitchen table at Sint Pancras, he talks about his brother’s recovery. This is literally and figuratively step by step.

Not only do we talk about Donny, we also talk about our families, our work, our hobbies and the World Cup. The World Football Championship is of no interest to any of us. For Joey, because it’s so confrontational, for me because FIFA has become a commercial and corrupt beast.

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America

Fortunately, he still saw progress with his brother. Donnie herself wants things to go faster. It frustrates him that things are going so slowly. As it appears now, he will go to America in February. There they have a special cure for his brain injury and he will take the next step in his recovery.

At the end of December, I had direct contact with Donnie for the first time. Send him a message. But what do you send to someone who is in rehab. In the end, just a standard “How are you?”. A few hours later, I received a voice message. I don’t know what to expect but in a 50 second message he told me how he’s doing. I get back to him with the messages and a moment later he does the same. I think it’s very smart how Donny communicates with me and goes above and beyond my expectations just a little bit.

Donnie keep fighting and don’t give up! You’ve taken giant strides in just a few months. It may not feel that way to you, but trust me it really does.

Thomas Broad

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Het gebeurt allemaal in Moldavië waar Van Iperen sinds kort speelt voor FC Zimbru. In pas zijn tweede wedstrijd voor de club slaat het noodlot toe. Soms was de oud-speler van Telstar wild in zijn duels, maar de botsing zoals in de wedstrijd tegen Dinamo Auto zie je in elke wedstrijd. Op het eerste gezicht denk je 'dat valt wel mee', maar al snel is duidelijk dat het goed mis is. 

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