Kiwi rugby player suffers serious spinal injury

Publish Date
Wednesday, 5 February 2020, 9:32PM
Photo / Instagram - @michaelfats

Photo / Instagram - @michaelfats

Former Hurricanes player Michael Fatialofa has been left with "damaged function, feeling and control over his body" after suffering a serious spinal injury during a rugby game.

The 27-year-old lock, who currently plays for the Worcester Warriors in the English Premiership, has been released after spending four weeks in a London hospital following a serious injury during a match.

He is now in a specialist spinal injuries clinic at the Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital in Aylesbury.

According to the Warriors, Fatialofa is making "good progress" but the injury has left him "facing damaged function, feeling and control over his body and a long period of rehabilitation and recovery".

A fundraising campaign has been set up by the Rugby Players' Association's Restart Charity for Fatialofa and his wife, Tatiana, to help with any immediate and future expenses.

The JustGiving page has received over $40,000.

The Warriors have thrown their support behind Fatialofa and the fundraising campaign, and have covered the costs of his private hospital care.

"Since Michael suffered his injury there have been so many offers of support from across the rugby community," Warriors' co-owner Colin Goldring said.

"We have been working closely with Michael and Tatiana the RPA and their Restart initiative , the RFU Injured Players Foundation, Pacific Rugby Players, New Zealand Rugby Foundation, the New Zealand Rugby Players Association and Esportif, Michael's management company, to produce a co-ordinated plan to provide Michael with the best possible support.

"As an established charity which already provides support for seriously injured professional players, Restart was best-placed to provide co-ordinated support for Michael in the short, medium and long-term.

Tatiana, who has been supporting her husband since the incident, said she has been humbled by the support.

"As a family, we appreciate any help people are willing to give at this difficult time. It is very humbling and well outside of our comfort zone to reach out and ask for support in this way," she said.

"We would love to thank everyone in advance, and feel so overwhelmed already by the generosity, prayers and kindness Michael and I have been shown. Together, we can all ensure he has the best chance of regaining independence and living a fulfilling life again."

Donations to support Michael Fatialofa can be made at: justgiving.com/campaign/michaelfatialofa

-nzherald.co.nz