18 Mar 2021

Border closure, home quarantine, families separated, and hospital capacities pushed to the very limit, the disruption to normal everyday life caused by the Coronavirus pandemic has been felt across the globe. But even in the darkest of times there are moments of shining inspiration, one example comes from a man right at the heart of the ITTF family.

Ian Marshall, ITTF Editor, who has been the leading figure in the ITTF content output since his arrival in 1995, has displayed the utmost dedication during his 26 years with the organisation keeping readers updated with the latest news from the international table tennis scene, even when faced with one of the most challenging periods of his life.

Currently staying in Amman, Jordan, Ian received his first Coronavirus vaccine in February but became ill shortly after. A lack of appetite and finding simple everyday tasks such as standing and walking a struggle, Ian was visited at home by several doctors who administered blood tests, various examinations and injections. The situation not improving Ian’s wife called local hospitals, the sixth contacted, the Arab Medical Centre, offered a bed.

“I cannot thank enough the doctors, nurses and all staff at the Arab Medical Centre enough, the attention given was total, press the emergency button and the response was immediate. Ian Marshall

Transported to hospital via ambulance on Sunday 7th March, Ian’s wife remained by his side throughout his stay in hospital, acting as a personal translator and nurse with all the medical professionals speaking Arabic. Further tests were carried out and confirmed a positive test for Covid-19.

Isolated from the other patients, Ian was provided with an oxygen feed and drips while pills and injections were administered every four hours, including through the night. Ian has described his battle with Covid as one of the toughest challenges he has faced and labelling it an illness unlike any other he has come across.

Remarkably Ian didn’t let his spell in hospital prevent him from doing what he loves. He kept up to date following all the latest drama surrounding the professional table tennis scene; the iPhone the source of communication. Immediately on return home it was immediately back to writing.

“It would not happen to me, but it did; we must be as vigilant as ever, the vaccines may reduce the chances of contracting the virus but there is a long way to go before they are preventative. Physically, I am slowly progressing, each day a little stronger but I do everything in slow motion! Most important for me was my mind; I had a goal, to recover enough to write about table tennis, the Olympic Games qualifiers in particular, it was a major motivating factor, it helped immensely.” Ian Marshall

Whilst most would have taken some time away from work to recover, Ian was determined to continue assisting with the upkeep of the ITTF website. Naturally, writing has proven a more difficult task in recent weeks for Ian who has had to overcome tiredness and an inability to concentrate but regardless of the challenge, Ian continues to persevere.

Five days following his hospital admission Ian’s appetite began to resurface and a further three days later, on Monday 15th March, he was discharged. Ian has been recovering at home ever since where he must remain in isolation and has been provided with medication and an oxygen concentrator to assist his recovery.

The ITTF is incredibly grateful for Ian’s dedication to the sport not just over these challenging past few weeks, but the past 26 years and wishes him a full and speedy recovery.

“Ian Marshall has dedicated himself to table tennis and the ITTF. We were so concerned when we heard of Ian’s health issues, but even during the difficult days he continued to deliver content. Ian is an ITTF legend that shows and proves that there are passionate persons in our sport that no matter how difficult the situation dedicates everything. We are looking forward to many more years of articles from Ian and are so happy he is regaining his health.” Mr. Steve Dainton, ITTF CEO

Thank you Ian.

General News Ian Marshall