Fatialofa's recovery provides some good news

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He has defied the odds after a serious neck injury and has taken his first unaided steps.

 

Fatialofa, 27, who played 36 times for Southland (2011-14), 24 times for Auckland (2015-18) and 38 times for the Hurricanes (2016-18) during which time he shared in their 2016 Investec Super Rugby championship win, suffered a spinal contusion only a minute after taking the field as a replacement in a premiership game for Worcester against Saracens on January 4.

 

After three weeks in intensive care at St Mary's Hospital in London and another week in recovery, he was moved to Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital in Aylesbury and started a programme of intensive physiotherapy.

 

He started to walk earlier in March but this week his wife Tatiana posted footage online of Fatialofa walking without assistance.

The warriors.co.uk website reported her comments: "You're witnessing a miracle that even medical professionals can't explain.

 

"They are so shook by his progress given his critical level of injury," she said.

 

Fatialofa had been paralysed from the neck down and there was no clinical cure for spinal cord injuries but she said she was thankful their faith had been rewarded.

 

A family fun day had been planned as a fund-raiser by the club for April 11 but that had been postponed due to Covid-19. However, donations were still being sought on the JustGiving website.

 

However, due to restrictions being put in place regarding visiting hours due to the pandemic it was likely they would only be able to spend an hour together each day.

 

"While I understand completely it's still so hard on the heart," she said.

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