Former West Coast starter Patrick Binns has been left in a “tragic illness” and set to end his life after years of on-field injuries cost him everything.
He endured nearly 20 spinal surgeries to control his pain, suffered nerve burns, became bedridden, lost 40 pounds and was forced to turn to a Richmond injection unit before he saved his life.
As journalist John Ralph talks about Beans’ plight on Fox’s Footy on the Couch, insurance expert Adriana Oreskov looks on.
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It was the moment that changed Binns’ life.
On her own accord, Ms Oreskov connected with Binns through LinkedIn and, after working with Congress activist Peter Jess, was able to secure the 23-year-old’s much-needed payment.
Earlier this year, Bines was awarded a $500,000 settlement from AMP that will allow him to get his life back on track after two failed attempts at permanent disability.
On Monday, Binns spoke to Jess and Mrs. Oreskov about the life-changing gratitude.
“I was on a pretty high dose of opioids — like four, five, six times the normal adult limit,” he admitted on the couch.
“Also, as a part of it, I was getting some of it out of the way.
You can’t get that much from a pharmacy or chemist, it was a very dangerous dose – red flags go up in the system.
“I’m not proud of this, I hurt a lot of people, including my family and friends.
“(Adriana) sat down with me and I worked 60 days from 6am to 8pm to get through all the technicalities.
“I’m so grateful to her and Peter Jess, now I can start some recovery so I can get to the next stage of my life.”
After being diagnosed with a collapsed disc in his neck at C5, 6 and 7, Binns tried “everything” to get back to a normal life after the injury, but nothing could help.
“I actually spoke to Victoria’s euthanasia, it was a very difficult time,” he said.
“It’s certainly not an easy decision, but I just want quality of life.
I was spending 20 hours on my phone in my room and I couldn’t move. I was really struggling, gritting my teeth as I flipped over.
“I struggled for a long time and tried all possible ways.
“I hate to give up. It was a very difficult and emotional call to make.”
Bines says AFL is one of the only sports in the world without a liability insurance policy.
“Athletes need it – there has to be a safety net,” he pleaded.
“Unfortunately I will not be the last.
“If (Adriana) hadn’t texted me, I’d still be working for everything in the AFL. It’s been three years now. It’s not about the money, we need some help to recover.
Binns’ payout is a breakthrough for other players who have been hit with claims related to head injuries, repeated concussions and more.
“I don’t want this to happen to another player. It became hell.”
If you or someone you know needs help –
LIFELINE on 13 11 14 or www.lifeline.org.au
Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 or www.beyondblue.org.au
SANE Helpline 1800 18SANE (7263) or at www.sane.org
KIDS HELPLINE on 1800 551 800 or at kidshelpline.com.au