Rhys Thomas to undergo heart operation
ESPN Staff
September 2, 2014
Dragons and Wales prop Rhys Thomas, August 4 2007
© Getty Images

Ex-Wales international Rhys Thomas is to undergo heart surgery on Tuesday in preparation for a transplant.

Thomas, 32, was capped seven times before being forced to retire after he suffered a heart attack during a Scarlets' training session in 2012. He underwent a quadruple heart by-pass shortly afterwards. He had a mild heart attack six years earlier while on the books at Newport Gwent Dragons.

"I can confirm he is having an operation today to prepare him for a heart transplant in the near future," his agent Christian Abt said.

Surgeons at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital hope the fitting of a special pump will enable him to be well enough to be placed on the transplant list.

"This pump isn't cheap and it's a last resort because they have tried everything else for me," Thomas said last month. "They hope the pump will bring the pressure down and I will get well enough to be put on the list for a transplant.

"The odds are not the best for this operation, they are about 70-30 but the more you dwell on stuff like that the more you think you are going to die and not going to see your kids."

The news prompted former team-mates to send messages of support on social media.

Scarlets and Wales centre Scott Williams tweeted: "All the best with the op." Racing Metro's Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips said on Twitter: "All the best mate!" while Dragons No.8 Andy Powell tweeted: "Hope everything goes well."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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