Sports

Patrick Bines career-ending injury, West Coast Eagles rookie, insurance payout, surgeries, drugs, injecting room, spinal injury

Former West Coast rookie Patrick Bines was left in “excruciating pain” and ready to end his life years after an innocuous on-field spoil cost him everything.

He had already undergone nearly 20 spinal surgeries, endured nerve burnings, lost 40 kilograms while bedridden and been forced to turn to a Richmond injecting room in a bid to try and get his pain under control before the moment that saved his life.

When journalist Jon Ralph spoke about Bines’ plight on Fox Footy’s On The Couch, insurance expert Adriana Oreskov was watching.

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It was the moment that changed Bines’ life.

On her own accord, Ms Oreskov got in touch with Bines through LinkedIn and, after working together with concussion advocate Peter Jess, has since been able to get the 23-year-old the payout he desperately needed.

Earlier this year Bines had his permanent total disability claim approved, after two unsuccessful attempts prior, and was awarded a $500,000 lump sum from AMP that will allow him to get his life on track.

On Monday, Bines spoke of the gratitude he had for both Jess and Ms Oreskov in turning is life around.

“I was at a pretty high dose of opioid medications – like four, five, six times over the limit of a regular adult,” he admitted On the Couch.

“There as an element of it too, where I was getting some it off the street.

“You can’t get that much from a pharmacy or a chemist, it was a pretty dangerous amount – red flags go up in the system.

“I’m not proud of it, I hurt a lot of people along the way including my family and friends.

Former West Coast Eagles footballer Patrick Bines, who suffered a debilitating injury. Picture: Nicki ConnollySource: News Corp Australia

“(Adriana) sat down with me and put 60 days of 6am to 8pm work in going through all the technical definitions of what I had to meet.

“I am so grateful for her and Peter Jess, now I can start some rehab to get me to the next stage of my life.”

Bines says he tried “everything” to try and return to a normal life post-injury, after being diagnosed with a collapse disc in his neck in the C5, 6 and 7, but nothing could help.

“I actually spoke to Victoria Euthanasia, it was a very tough time,” he said.

“Obviously not an easy decision but I just wanted a quality of life.

“I was spending 20 hours on my phone in my room not able to move. When I did roll over, I was just gritting my teeth and really struggling.

“I’d fought for so long and tried every possible avenue.

“I hate to give up, it was a pretty tough and emotional call to make.”

Former West Coast rookie Patrick Bines at training in 2019. Picture: Paul KaneSource: Getty Images

Bines said the AFL was one of the only sports in the world that doesn’t have a liable insurance policy.

“Athletes need it – there needs to be a safety net,” he pleaded.

“I’m not going to be the last one unfortunately.

“If (Adriana) didn’t message me, I’d still be working through the AFL for everything. It’s been three years now. It’s not about the money, we just need some assistance with rehab.”

Bines’ payment has become the breakthrough for other players knocked back for claims regarding head trauma, repeat concussions and more.

“I don’t want this to happen to another player. It’s been hell.”

If you or someone you know needs assistance –

LIFELINE on 13 11 14 orwww.lifeline.org.au

BEYOND BLUE 1300 224 636 or atwww.beyondblue.org.au

SANE Helpline 1800 18SANE (7263) or at www.sane.org

KIDS HELPLINE on 1800 551 800 or at kidshelpline.com.au



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