Okay, so you’ve pulled out of the final event of the season – the Beachwaver Maui Pro – and we haven’t seen you in a jersey since Uluwatu. Can you tell us what happened this year?
I actually got sick in July, during the Jeffrey’s Bay event. I had gone to Africa early to go surfing and prepare. I love JBay and had gone the year before just to surf, plus I thought I could get some waves in before the whole crew arrived. I was happy to get a fews surf in. Then I first started feeling ill when I went on an overnight safari. My head was on fire and so was my body. I'd never felt like that before and I actually called my brother Mikey who said he thought I needed to go to the doctor. I didn't want to believe him, so I called WSL Commissioner Jessi Miley-Dyer and told her how I felt. She told me to please drive to the hospital. Mikey got the medical team organised and then we went from there; I had to go to Port Elizabeth where I was admitted through Emergency.
The official diagnosis in the hospital at JBay was Influenza A. I spent time in hospital, and then came back to JBay where I was treated by the medical team. I couldn't travel until my fever broke, and I stayed in bed for probably ten days straight. All-up I lost 8kgs, and at one stage we thought I had pneumonia as well. I don't reckon I ate for a week. It's the sickest I have ever been in my life.
So now, I haven't been able to shake it and I have been diagnosed with post-viral syndrome from getting Influenza A. I am pretty much battling chronic fatigue, which is a real challenge. People think it's just about being tired but there is more to it – although that does have a lot to do with it.