Former White Rock Renegade on mend after hospitalization

Sara Groenewegen not with Team Canada at world softball championships in Japan

Sara Groenewegen is on the mend.

The Semiahmoo Peninsula resident – and Canadian national women’s softball team pitcher – was hospitalized during the final days of last month’s Canada Cup after dealing with what she said was a fever and “really bad back pain.”

She was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease – a severe form of pneumonia.

As a result, she was not with the team during it’s Canada Cup championship victory, nor is she with the team in Japan this week for 2018 Women’s World Softball Championships.

Last week, however, the former White Rock Renegade star took to Twitter to update people on her condition.

After being admitted to the hospital ER, “I was then put into a medically induced coma for about 10 days as I… needed my lungs to be helped before coming out of a coma.”

From there, she detailed how she was brought out of the coma and sent to the intensive-care unit, then slowly taken off her medications “one by one.”

“I am in a lot better health condition now. I know I scared a lot of people as it was so sudden and so serious so quickly,” Groenewegen continued. “But I just wanted to let everyone know that I am fighting for a speedy recovery.”

While most who suffer such an ailment make full recoveries, the 23-year-old graduate of the University of Minnesota said the recovery process is a long road.

“I was congratulated for standing for 10 seconds on my own the other day and that’s what it really hit me,” she said. “Life can be so humbling.”

On Monday, Softball Canada released a statement saying that Groenewegen had been released from Royal Columbian Hospital and is now recovering at home.

“She is recovering well and she and her family wish to thank all those who kept her in their thoughts and prayers. The family would also like to thank Dr. Gunning and the ICU team at Royal Columbian Hospital. Their expertise was instrumental in Sara’s recovery,” the statement reads.

In the release, Softball Canada CEO Hugh Mitchener called Groenewegen “a true battler.”

“With the help of her family and supporters I’m sure she is already planning her return to the diamond,” he said.

In the meantime, Groenewegen’s teammates are in Chiba, Japan at worlds, where they have rolled to a 5-2 win-loss record through the first five days of action. Canada has wins over Great Britain, Venezuela, Italy, China and Botswana, with losses to Australia and Japan.

Playoff rounds begin Friday, and the championship game – with a 2020 Olympic berth on the line – is set for Sunday.

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