The wife of rugby league icon and premiership-winning coach Paul Green has revealed what her husband’s legacy will be, hoping that her husband’s diagnosis and death can “shine a light” on advanced brain disease and “improve the experience” for others playing the game.
Green passed away suddenly at the age of 49 on Thursday, August 11 in his Brisbane home after taking his own life.
Vale Paul Green.
The Rugby League community has lost a legendary player and coach today.
Our deepest condolences to his family, friends, colleagues and the countless fans who loved him. Rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/dUeUc4sPEL
— NRL (@NRL) August 11, 2022
As Green’s family struggled to understand and come to terms with the tragic and sudden loss, they made the generous decision to donate his brain to science in an effort to better understand the impact of concussion on sportspeople.
As a result, Australian Sports Brain Bank’s neuropathologist Professor Michael Buckland was able to determine that Green suffered from one of the more “severe forms of pure CTE” he has come across.
According to Dementia Australia, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a type of dementia where many repeated head injuries can affect someone’s brain function over time, enough to interfere with the person’s normal or working life.”
The diagnosis not only brought a sense of closure to the Green family but also gave Paul Green’s wife, Amanda, a new sense of focus as she works to keep her husband’s legacy alive.
“My goal is to shine a light on Paul‘s diagnosis in the hope that we can advance our approach to detection, education, treatment and support for people suffering from CTE,” Amanda told The Australian.
“The Greens are a rugby league family, so it would be comforting for us if Paul’s legacy can improve the experience for those who play the game.
“I applaud the NRL for the improvements they are making to the game in regards to concussion and protecting from grassroots to the professional level.”
Amanda also recently spoke of how her husband’s diagnosis had brought some much-needed “peace” and “relief” to her family after they had struggled to “come to terms with the loss”.
“I was able to sit Jed down and explain: ‘Daddy’s brain was sick, that’s why he did what he did’. The diagnosis has helped them understand what happened,” she revealed to The Australian.
“For my daughter Emerson it has also given her a sense of relief because of what’s being said out there [that Green had depression]. She now understands that he wasn’t in that space and there’s nothing we could have done, because he was sick. We just didn’t know it.
“This diagnosis has helped us understand and rationalise what has happened. It has given myself, the kids, some peace.”
If you or anyone you know needs help: Lifeline — 13 11 14; MensLine Australia — 1300 789 978; BeyondBlue — 1300 224 636; Suicide Call Back Service — 1300 659 467; Headspace — 1800 650 890; Kids Helpline — 1800 551 800.