Dubai: Belgian golfer Nicolas Colsaerts, who is on a recovery path from rare kidney disease, is eager to come back on the Tour as quickly as possible. The 10-time champion says he has missed his job and passion badly for the last six months and is ready to fire on all cylinders and aims to defend the French Open. Gulf News caught up with Colsaerts and followed his rehabilitation path that will bring the 39-year-old back on the golf course. The Dubai Golden Visa Awardee and Dubai Resident, who plays on the DP World Tour, is even optimistic that he could be better when he returns. Excerpts from the interview …
How is your health and fitness?
As your readers may know, I was diagnosed in December 2021 with a rare kidney disease called membranous nephropathy that has had an impact on my health, life, family and career. Having been faced with a serious disease for the first time in my life, it has taken a toll not only on my physical health but also on my mental and emotional well-being. I was really looking forward to starting my 2022 season having recently relocated to Dubai and my intention was to make the most of the incredible practice and training facilities that Dubai has to offer. However, instead of returning to the DP World Tour in full form for 2022, I found myself spending more nights in hospital than hours on the golf course and my career has been put on a pause in order for me to return to a state that means I can play high-level competition golf again.
How did you connect with AVIV Clinics and who are AVIV Clinics?
AVIV Clinics Dubai, a subsidiary of DP World, brings a breakthrough and innovative brain performance medical treatment protocol. The AVIV Clinics Treatment Program is based on more than 15 years of accredited research studying the impact of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) on the regeneration process in the brain.
Their extensive facilities are in JLT, very close to Emirates Golf Club here in Dubai. They were the title sponsor of the $1.5 million AVIV Dubai Championship on the DP World Tour event on Fire course at Jumeirah Golf Estates last November, which I played in. That was where I was made aware of who AVIV was. I went ahead and began the treatment.
What treatment are you having?
I am going through AVIV Clinics’ Medical Programme that runs for three months and helps athletes and sport enthusiasts to improve their physical and mental performance, including focus, memory and attention, as well as accelerating physical recovery.
Each participant in the programme meets with the clinic’s expert medical professionals, using a combination of AVIV’s proprietary Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT), cognitive and physical training, and a personalised nutritional programme that focuses on two key areas: the cognitive and physical benefits. The HBOT involves breathing 100 per cent pure oxygen in a special room known as a HBOT suite.
According to AVIV, the biological effects of ageing can be reversed, and we can all regain the peak performance and quality of life we crave for. I am just past halfway of my treatment programme, and it would be an understatement to say I am more than impressed! In terms of the changes, I can already see a huge improvement in my cognitive skills, most markedly with brain speed, attention, and memory skills (my wife will confirm this!).
I look forward to seeing the changes in my brain scans and activity. I also feel a lot more positive in my outlook for recovery. I see personal trainers, physios, neuropsychologists and dietitians on a regular basis after using the suite as part of my follow ups.
How long have you been on this treatment and how long is left?
I began the screening process early March and my first HBOT chamber was in the last days of March. I will finish at the end of this month.
What are your plans to return to the DP World Tour this season?
I am still the defending champion of the French Open that was last held in 2019 and then had a two-year sabbatical due to Covid restrictions. My plan is obviously to go back out on Tour as quickly as possible when I am ready and fit to compete, which will not be before the first week of August.
I have missed my job and passion terribly for the last six months, but I want to make sure that when I make the decision to play again I will be firing on all cylinders. And then maybe who knows what the future holds for the new version of myself.