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donderdag 14 april 2016

Bittersweet: What happened to Frida Wallberg?

The documentary Bittersweet by filmmaker Marieke Niestadt shows former boxer and 6x world champion Lucia Rijker while training the Australian professional female boxer Diana Prazak. At the end, the documentary shows the match between Diana Prazak and Frida Wallberg. Prazak defeated the Swedish world champion Frida Wallberg by knocking her out. It soon became clear this match didn't end very well for Frida Wallberg . She had to be rushed to the hospital. What happened with Wallberg after this match?


A severe brain hemorrhage

After the doctors discovered that she had suffered a severe stroke ( the left side of her brain had filled with blood ), Wallberg needed surgery urgently. After surgery she was placed in a medically induced coma. In the first weeks after she awoke from her coma, she could not talk. She says she was like a totally helpless child, she had to learn to talk, eat and walk again.

Since then, she suffers from severe headaches and migraine attacks, accompanied by depression and severe fatigue. In the beginning the severe pains left her housebound. As soon as it became clear that she wouldn't be boxing anymore, she lost all of her sponsors.


How is Frida Wallberg doing now?

The now 33 -year-old Wallberg still suffers from severe headaches and migraine attacks. Although the attacks are no longer as intense as in the beginning, she still has problems with concentrating and has memory problems. She can not stand loud noises and becomes tired easily.

She has bad days and good days. Every other week she goes to her cabin in Atvidaberg, near her childhood home, to escape from the noisy and busy city Gothenburg, and takes long walks. Her main goal is to be able to lead a normal life and to take care of her daughter of eight: her life exists mainly of bringing and fetching her daughter to and from school, cooking, homework and her daughter's tennis lessons.



Back in the ring

Since August 5, 2015 she is back in ring for training, but she insists that she will not make a comeback (according to the Swedish boxing competition rules she can never box professionally again). She boxes for her own peace of mind: boxing will always be part of her life and works as a medicine. In addition, the doctors say a blow to the head can be fatal. Being a mother, she doesn't want to take that risk.



The Future

Frida Wallberg wants to become a youth tennis coach. Her choice for tennis is not so strange as it sounds: her daughter takes tennis lessons and she accompanies her whenever possible. She therefore tries to read a lot and study, but concentration and memory problems make this very hard. In the future she wants to inspire people through lectures by telling about her experiences.

Since the summer of 2015 she also has a new love in her life, Emil Jönsson van Halmstad. They have a lot in common, Emil has fought against cancer for many years and knows how it's like to live with a serious illness. In 2016 they had a child together. 


Documentary

Filmmaker Susanna Edwards made a documentary about Frida Wallberg, called Golden Girl, which captures her rise through the ranks of women's boxing, her fall and her struggle after her stroke.





Book 

In november 2016 Wallberg published her autobiography. She writes about her childhood and career. She also writes about sexual harassment in women's boxing and the sexualisation of female boxers.

Hospitalisation


Wallberg was admitted to hospital at the end of January 2019. She had been suffering from headaches, dizziness and fatigue for a while and eventually had to go to the hospital because she had lost her consciousness.









Watch the match between Diana Prazak and Frida Wallberg:


Want to know how it ended with Diana Prazak? Read the article Bittersweet: What happened to Diana Prazak?
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