Hutchinson urges people to stay inside as he battles genetic condition
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Shae Hutchinson’s story isn’t that of a conventional budding professional footballer, but he has the same message as most people right now: stay at home.
The 19-year-old is attempting to make the grade with Norwich City whilst suffering with a genetic condition which is impacting his life dramatically.
Hutchinson is battling with Alport syndrome, which has left him awaiting a second kidney transplant.
The striker has already had one transplant, after his father donated his kidney, but that operation hasn’t had the desired effect, with his kidney functioning at 17pc.
That context, coupled with Hutchinson’s need for another transplant leaves him in the vulnerable group that has been shielded by the government, meaning he has to self-isolate for 12 weeks.
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“Seeing people breaking the rules is hard for people like me that need kidney transplants, as it’s getting delayed. I was meant to find out this month if I had a donor, but it’s been postponed, so I don’t know when I’m going to find a match. Due to the virus, it’s harder for us as we have to always stay in as our immune systems are low. People going out isn’t good for us either, as it means it could go on for longer, it would have more of an effect on us and our transplants.”
Hutchinson received a video from Premier League icon Thierry Henry, with the former World Cup winner describing City’s starlet as his hero.
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“I’ve had massive support from the club, I got sent that Thierry Henry video from the club, they’re doing as much as they can for me. I’m getting text messages and calls from both the staff and players, so it’s really nice to have.
“It was amazing, Thierry Henry is my idol. He coached me a bit when I was going through the Arsenal Academy at about the under-14s or under-13s. Seeing that video made me so happy, I look up to him, he’s a football legend. It’s so good to have that video,” he told the club’s official website.
“I got to watch games at Highbury Stadium when I was young, watched Henry play growing up as an Arsenal fan. I was given the opportunity to be coached by him when I played for Arsenal.
“When I got the video message from him, it was most definitely uplifting, especially through this difficult time.”