For football player Deon Hill, taking hits isn’t out of the ordinary. But last year, a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease was a surprising blow.
“I just had these horrible, horrible stomach cramps,” the Georgia Institute of Technology athlete told MyFoxAtlanta.com. “I didn’t know what it was, didn’t know where it came from, how I got it.”
Medicine didn’t help, so he told Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson that he needed to see a doctor.
“They thought that they could treat it and that he would be okay,” Johnson told My Fox Atlanta. “He came back and tried for a little bit, and then it would flare up, and he would have to be out again. I know it was frustrating, really frustrating for him, and scary for him.”
Hill was diagnosed with Crohn’s after a CAT scan showed severe inflammation of his intestine. He missed three games of the 2013 season. In March 2014, he had surgery to remove part of his intestine.
Crohn’s is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms include persistent diarrhea, abdominal cramps and pain and constipation. There is no cure.
While Hill lost 15 to 20 pounds following surgery and was anxious to start the 2014 season, he credited the Piedmont Hospital staff for keeping his spirits up and helping him recover.
Back on the field, he completed big plays, including the game-winning touchdown against Georgia Southern University.
“He’s never tried to use that as a ‘Hey, look at what I’ve done, look at what’ I’ve overcome or I’m battling this,” Johnson said. “He’s just showed up and played like he always had.”
Thanks to the surgery and regular medication infusion treatments, Hill has achieved remission and is able to live his life as though he doesn’t have Crohn’s.
“I'm 100 percent normal, and it's really a blessing,” he told My Fox Atlanta.