‘Still Defending’ (2020) after a life-threatening illness

Still Defending (2019)
Still Defending: Drew Beckie’s Road to Recovery (2019)

We never know what can take us down: accidents, cancer, our own bad habits. Today, coronavirus is foremost in our minds. But in 2017, Canadian soccer player Drew Beckie contracted myocarditis, an infection in his heart. The standard medical advice was absolute rest for 6-8 months and the warning that he might never play again. 

Still Defending is a 45-minute film by Matt Levine’s Cosmic Fox Media and George Giosi’s Giosi Productions. It covers Drew Beckie’s life and career, the disease, his struggle to regain fitness, and his return to playing in the USL. Currently he plays Centerback for El Paso Locomotive FC. There are also interviews with Janine Beckie, his younger sister, who plays for Manchester City and Canada’s WNT.

Learn about Myocarditis

The Myocarditis Foundation notes that in healthy athletes, myocarditis is often asymptomatic. When the scarred heart is stressed by exercise, it can lead to lethal cardiac arrhythmias.

When Drew went to the ER in Sweden, his cardiac Troponin enzyme levels were so extremely elevated that Dr A. Schaeffer-Pautz said she had never heard that “such high levels were compatible with life.” Drew relates that in the hospital, he would have intense chest pain twice a day, which indicated scarring of the heart muscle.

Drew talks about learning to develop other interests such as reading and cooking. At the same time, friends and family worked on a GoFundMe campaign to help him with his medical bills. Fortunately, he only had to wait 3-4 months to return to physical activity, and he was playing again within 6-7 months. Faith, being positive, and eating healthy all factored into his rapid recovery.

Still Defending is a unique soccer film that shows how the support of others can help one return to play after a life-threatening illness.

7 Soccer Movie Mom Rating = 7

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