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Former All-Black Carl Hayman opens up on his battle with dementia

Carl Hayman

A former All-Black has been diagnosed with dementia.

Former All-Black star Carl Hayman has revealed that he is suffering with early-onset dementia, only a couple of years after he called time on his playing career.

Hayman, who was capped 45 times during his career at international level, has been diagnosed with the condition, aged just 41.

Following the end of his playing days, Hayman admitted that he suffered symptoms such as memory loss, confusion and suicidal thoughts.

Carl Hayman suffering with early-onset dementia.

“I spent several years thinking I was going crazy,” the former All-Black prop told The Bounce. “The headaches were the start, and they were something that kept getting worse over time.

“I started having substantial memory issues, I was trying to get a passport for my son and I couldn’t remember his middle name, which was a significant moment.

“I had temper issues, definitely, and then at this point of my life, it led down the track to what I’d consider alcohol abuse.

“At my lowest point, my relationship with my ex-wife Natalie had broken down and I was involved in a physical incident with her that went to court.

Carl Hayman

“I don’t want to minimise the harm I did and I don’t want to make any excuses because I should never have put myself in that situation, but I have so much regret because that’s just not who I am.

“I’m not an angry person but I was in a deep, dark place and unfortunately I will have to carry that with me forever.”

Carla Hayman.

He also explained that he is hoping that calls, like his now, will bring positive change to the sport at a time when it needs to be reformed in his eyes.

“As time has gone on it has become more apparent what the symptoms are that are related to the CTE injuries: memory loss, anxiety, anger, depression and alcohol abuse,” he added.

“I’m 41, I’ve still got a massive part of my life ahead of me and when you live with something like this it certainly makes every day a challenge.

“I hope that the players of the future don’t fall into the same trap that I did, that they’re not treated like an object and are looked after better.”

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