Football Manager Story: Doctors Amazed After Video Game Surprisingly Heals Man with Rare Condition

Another year, another Football Manager story and how it helps people deal with life. 

This time, it comes from a Malaysian citizen based in the US. Sharad 'Sasha' Vemalanathan was a fresh graduate from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, USA. He shared his story exclusively to SPORTBible

"I was watching the TV on my sofa chair when my legs went numb. I tried to walk to the kitchen and make myself a drink, but after pushing myself up, my knees buckled, and I fell headfirst onto the floor."

Sasha quickly realized that he had no power whatsoever over his entire body before dragging himself up to the stairs to crawl into his bedroom. After calling the emergency hotline, Sasha was quickly hospitalized, albeit not knowing what's wrong. 

The doctor diagnosed the then-34-year-old with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a sporadic condition that affects the way his nerves and brain work. It's a 'genetic' condition, and it could be life-threatening, as the doctor told the Malaysian. 

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Learning How to Walk & Talk Normally

After the diagnosis, Sasha had to learn how to function normally again. He always sweated, and his low ability to retain information is the icing on the cake. He was barely able to remember anything after three minutes, and he would 'lose whatever memory I had whenever I fell asleep.'

For the next couple of months, Sasha's life was filled with anger & frustration. He barely even moved or socialized, and he soon flew to his hometown in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He spent his life in a wheelchair and back-to-back physio and hydrotherapies. 

"I was so lonely and in a world of pain that no one could understand," he said.

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First Time Playing Football Manager

For the first time after the diagnosis, Sasha then decided to open his laptop and run Football Manager 2020

Sasha's memory suddenly came back flowing. He quickly remembered his way of picking formations, training exercises, keeping the board and the fans happy, managing finances, and improving facilities. 

Sasha's doctors were amazed by his rapid improvement. After months of not recalling anything he had for breakfast or any movie he watched, Sasha is now able to make cognitive decisions. 

"I was less angry and genuinely more positive. I believe that the game was able to heal my fractured mind and, in doing so, made me stronger as a person," he said. 

Lastly, Sasha thanked everyone at Sports Interactive for their dedication to the Football Manager franchise, calling the game a 'magic.' 

Now that Football Manager 2021 is on the horizon, it's safe to expect another beautiful story from the game's community. 

What a wholesome journey. 

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