Nathan Van Hooydonck left the Antwerp University Hospital today. The Belgian rider of Team Jumbo-Visma is doing well under the circumstances. Yesterday, the 27-year-old Fleming was fitted with an internal defibrillator (ICD) to correct potential future cardiac arrhythmia. After thorough testing, Van Hooydonck was diagnosed with a heart muscle anomaly that caused the disorder that nearly claimed his life, Tuesday last week. The findings mean the end to Van Hooydonck’s professional career.
“I realise that I was incredibly lucky”, Van Hooydonck says. “Things may have gone differently if I hadn’t gotten good help so quickly. I’m fine now, but I still have to deal with the fact that this marks the end of my professional career. I would like to express my gratitude to the people who helped me, the medical team at the hospital and all the fans who sent me messages. I will now focus on my recovery and my upcoming fatherhood. Everything is going well with Alicia and the pregnancy, and we eagerly anticipate the birth. That really helps me now.”