Frank Golla recovery a source of hope for Doug Kramer, athletes battling heart ailments
Two years ago, Frank Golla was doing a late-night shootaround in a gym when he suddenly felt a severe headache he initially thought to be a migraine. It turned out be caused by a congenital heart disease. Jerome Ascano

BACK up big man Frank Golla can easily commiserate with the current health issue facing Doug Kramer. Just like his fellow Atenean, the TNT Katropa center was once saddled with a heart problem that also derailed his PBA career for a few months.

But instead of sulking in a corner, Golla urges Kramer to spend his time away from basketball bonding with his family and getting himself back in playing shape.

According to Golla, the two of them had a personal talk about ‘heart matter’ as Kramer continues to recover from a mild stroke he suffered recently that kept him out of action for Phoenix in the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup.

“Sabi ko lang sa kanya gamitin niya na lang (yung oras) sa pamilya niya para mas lalo silang tumibay,” Golla related to “Mas magiging okay yung relationship nila.”

[See Kramer grateful to Phoenix for keeping faith in him after health scare]

Two years ago, the 26-year-old Golla did the same as he recuperated from a congenital heart disease that he wasn’t aware of until that fateful night of September 14, 2014.

The Ateneo alumnus was doing a late-night shootaround in a gym when he suddenly felt a severe headache he initially thought to be a migraine.

“Masaki ang ulo ko tapos tumumba ako, tapos hindi na ako makatayo ulit.. Bagsak ako ng bagsak sa kanan yun pala yun na nga,” he recalled of the scary incident that took place while he was still a rookie with Blackwater.

He was later told by doctors that 25 percent of people – not only athletes – are afflicted with the same condition, which can be remedied through medical procedures.

“Nasa iyo na kung papasilip mo o aabutin ka na lang,” Golla said.

Golla underwent procedure and didn’t have any rigid physical activities, including basketball, for the next four months.


 “Wala namang nangyaring masama sa akin, so eto awa naman ng Diyos,” said the four-year veteran.

After a year, everything is well with Golla, who said he passed the ‘stress test’ with flying colors. He’s good enough to play again that he resumed seeing action with Blackwater, and later traded to TNT Katropa in a one-on-one deal with Dylan Ababou.

He stressed the support extended to him by the Elite management also fast-tracked the process of his recovery as it gave him a sense of security.

“Inalagaan naman nila at tinulungan nila ako. Maganda naman yung suporta nila sa akin,” Golla said of his former team.

More importantly, he found time to strengthen the bond with his family.

“Yung three to four months ko, nag spend time ako sa pamilya ko at tsaka nagpalakas ako,” said Golla.

For Kramer and to those people with the same condition, there’s really nothing to worry about, according to Frank.

“Yung mga nangyari sa amin or doon sa may sakit na ganun, sabi naman ng mga doctors 100 precent naman ang pagbalik so wala naman dapat ikatakot,” he stressed. “Yun lang, and God bless kay Doug.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos