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Sea Eagles’ former head of physiotherapy breaks down over 20-year-old NRL player’s sudden death at training: ‘He was loved by the boys’

The former head of physiotherapy for the Manly Sea Eagles has broken down in tears after describing how young player Keith Titmuss collapsed during training before dying in hospital.

The 20-year-old forward lost consciousness during pre-season training at the team’s Narrabeen headquarters on Sydney’s northern beaches on November 23, 2020.

A coronial inquest heard several experts had concluded Titmuss was suffering from heat stroke when he had a seizure.

Former Manly head of physiotherapy James Rahme told the inquest he attended the outdoor training session and noted Titmuss was ‘keeping up’ with the team.

The team then moved to an indoor gym for the second portion of the training and Mr Rahme returned to his office.

Keith Titmuss collapsed at training on November 23, 2020 and died hours later in hospital

Former Manly head of physiotherapy James Rahme broke down in tears during the inquest

Former Manly head of physiotherapy James Rahme broke down in tears during the inquest

Less than an hour later, Rahme told the inquest he received a frantic phone call.

‘I remember sensing an urgency that things weren’t right,’ he said.

One of the coaching staff told him ‘there’s something serious going on, you better get here’ – but didn’t provide Titmuss’s name or any details of his collapse.

When he entered the indoor gym, the physiotherapist saw Titmuss ‘moving around’ in a jerky manner that ‘looked like a seizure’.

‘He was moving around in like a backwards crawl, a commando crawl backwards, and it seemed involuntary,’ Mr Rahme told the inquest.

Coaching staff spoke to Titmuss as he seized ‘so he wouldn’t hurt himself’ and to provide comfort to the distressed player before four paramedics arrived on the scene.

The inquest previously heard the 20-year-old’s temperature was nearly 42C, which was the highest temperature ever seen by one paramedic.

Titmuss was rushed to hospital, where he suffered a fatal cardiac arrest.

Mr Rahme offered his condolences to the young player's family (pictured)

Mr Rahme offered his condolences to the young player’s family (pictured)

Mr Rahme remembered Titmuss as ‘gentle’ and ‘kind’. He broke down in tears as he offered his condolences to the player’s family, who sat in the courtroom.

‘He was loved by the boys,’ the physiotherapist said to Titmuss’s family.

‘I still believe a lot of the boys are affected by what happened.’

Titmuss’s mother, father, and sister nodded sadly.

Mr Rahme said he hoped the inquest would provide some guidance about how heat stroke could be treated in future so no one else would lose their lives.

The inquest continues before Deputy State Coroner Derek Lee on Thursday.

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