MATLAMA defender Stephen Essong Eyong survived death by a whisker on Thursday morning. This after he nearly suffocated from fumes emitted by a paraffin stove at his Khubetsoana home in Maseru.
Team manager Limpho Tshepe told the Sunday Express on Friday that the Gabonese player was stable and recovering well after the incident.
Eyong was rushed to Willis Hospital in the wee hours of Thursday but Tshepe said the hard-tackling defender was released on Friday and was now out of danger.
“It took us all by surprise when we got the message that he had been rushed to the hospital and the report that we got is that he nearly suffocated from the fumes emitted by a heater that they were using along with his girlfriend,” Tshepe said.
“They had slept leaving it on.
“Apparently the girlfriend was the first to be hospitalised only for Stephen to encounter problems later.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that about 7 million people die every year from exposure to fine particles in polluted air that lead to diseases such as stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and respiratory infections, including pneumonia.
However, indoor pollution accounts for an average of 1.6 million deaths across the world annually according to ourworldindata.org.
These figures are mainly in developing countries where populations have no access to cleaner cooking and heating fuels.
Tshepe said they were happy that the defender had recovered and said they are hoping that he would be in the right space when Econet Premier League action resumes.
All local soccer leagues have been suspended since March when the Lesotho Football Association decided to adhere to World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines on social distancing to avoid the spread of the deadly Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Although Lesotho is yet to record any cases, authorities are on high alert to avoid the possible spread of the virus that has so far killed 119 people in neighbouring South Africa and infected over 5 000 others.
Tshepe said the club was grateful that the defender was attended to promptly.
“It was a dangerous situation and anything could have happened but fortunately they were assisted fast.
He looked recovered when he was discharged and we are hoping that no other problems will surface when the league resumes.
“There are no doubts about his physical fitness although we would want him to get adequate time to recover from the incident before he starts playing again.”
Lepoqo, as Eyong is affectionately known by Matlama supporters, joined the Sea Point outfit at the beginning of the 2019/20 season following his one season spell at Lioli.
Since then, he has become a regular for the reigning Econet Premier League champions.