It was on December 26 last year that tragedy struck former UFC fighter Kim Dong-hyun (35), who was working as a mixed martial arts instructor and preparing to return to the martial arts.
Kim Dong-hyun, who only thought of it as a herniated disc, a chronic disease acquired while playing as a player, and only relieved pain in his neck and shoulders with painkillers, went to the hospital with his left leg paralyzed one morning.
In an interview with Yonhap News, Kim Dong-hyun, who we met at Team Mad Gymnasium in Haeundae-gu, Busan on the 19th, calmly said, “I got paralyzed in an instant and went to various hospitals. Then, I felt the symptoms of paralysis not only in my legs but also in my upper body, so I had surgery right away.” He talked about the misfortune that befell him.
Kim Dong-hyun’s medical condition is cervical myelopathy.
The bundle of spinal nerves that pass through the cervical spine (cervical vertebrae) is compressed, resulting in various symptoms.
Because he was a martial artist whose daily life was to endure pain, he developed the disease.
Kim Dong-hyun said, “I have to go to the hospital when I’m sick, but I know what the doctors will say because I’ve been sick so much. So instead of going to the hospital, I went to the sauna and got a massage.”
After that, he lamented, “This has become a burden that only rests on the body,” while resting on his right leg, which did not move at will.
At one time, Kim Dong-hyun was one of Korea’s leading mixed martial arts fighters.
He started his career in 2007 and conquered the Korean stage in the lightweight division before advancing to the UFC in 2015, the world’s top martial arts organization.
At first, he used nicknames such as ‘Kim Dong-hyun B’ and ‘Little Dong-hyun’ to distinguish him from player Kim Dong-hyun, who has the same name, and then worked under the name ‘Ma Dong-hyun’, using his ring name ‘Maestro’ as his last name.
He lost his UFC debut match against Dominic Steele (USA) and the next match against Marco Polo Reyes (Mexico) by KO, but won 3 consecutive wins in 3 matches after that.
He defeated Brendan O’Reilly (Australia) by decision, then Takanori Gomi (Japan) by TKO, and Damien Brown (Australia) by decision.
The three wins he won at this time is still the most wins won by a Korean lightweight fighter in the UFC.
Kim Dong-hyun even showed his determination to win by decision in a game against Brown, when he was hit by a low kick and broke his leg bone.
However, the honesty shown at this time ended up threatening not only the life of a martial artist but also his daily life.
Kim Dong-Hyun, who needed treatment for a long time due to a fractured leg, fought hard to enter the lightweight ranking (15th place), but lost to Devonte Smith (USA).
Kim Dong-hyun’s overall record in mixed martial arts is 16 wins, 11 losses and 3 draws.
Kim Dong-hyun said, “Originally, I was preparing to set up a gym in my name and run the game. Then I suddenly fell into an unexpected situation.” worried,” he said.
Thanks to Kim Dong-hyun’s steady rehabilitation after the surgery, he fortunately recovered to the point where he could move slowly with his cane.
The driving force behind him going to the hospital at 9:00 am and going through hellish rehabilitation training until 4:00 pm is his family.
Thinking of the face of his wife who comforts Kim Dong-hyun and her 160-day-old daughter, he is determined to recover.
Kim Dong-hyun said, “I was most sorry for my wife when I heard the news that my legs were paralyzed, even though I had to take care of the children after the birth of a child. I am working hard to rehabilitate to show it off.”
This is also the reason why Kim Dong-hyun mustered up his courage and revealed his struggle with the disease.
He said, “I made it public so that I wouldn’t forget that ‘people are watching me’ when I was exhausted from rehab. And I want to be a hope for someone.” 스포츠토토
The 20th, the day after Kim Dong-hyun’s interview, is the Day of the Disabled.
Kim Dong-hyun said, “The first thing I looked for the most after lying in the hospital was a case of recovery to the original state through rehabilitation in a similar situation.” I don’t want to lose,” he said.
Even if the spinal cord whose nerves have already been cut off cannot be saved, Kim Dong-hyun spends the day believing that he can definitely recover.
He still dreams that someday a miracle will happen and he will return to the martial arts stage and fight like before.
Kim Dong-hyun said, “I will return to the Octagon again. It was difficult at first in a ridiculous situation, but it is a process of overcoming it. (To fans) I want to be remembered as a fighter who overcame paralysis and returned to martial arts.”