22 Mar 2020

Michael Fatialofa now walking unaided

5:06 pm on 22 March 2020

Injured New Zealand rugby player Michael Fatialofa provided a bit of good news amid the coronavirus gloom when a video showed the lock walking unaided 11 weeks after he suffered a serious neck injury in an English Premiership game.

A dejected Michael Fatialofa of the Hurricanes.


New Zealand-born Fatialofa was shown walking in a video posted by his wife Tatiana on Instagram.

"You're witnessing a miracle that even medical professionals can't explain," she wrote. "They are so (shocked) by his progress given his critical level of injury."

Fatialofa, 27, suffered the injury while playing for Worcester against Saracens on Jan. 4, less than a minute after coming onto the field in the second half. He has been in hospital since.

"He was literally paralysed from the neck down just 10 weeks ago and currently spinal cord injuries do not have a clinical cure, but my amazing husband is proof that god is never limited to human wisdom. So so so thankful," his wife added.

Fatialofa had surgery for a spinal contusion, which causes compression on the spinal cord and can lead to paralysis.

His wife said her visits to the hospital will become more difficult because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We've been advised by the hospital that visiting probably will be reduced to only one hour soon and while I understand completely it's still so hard on the heart," she said.

Worcester were going to use their home match against Harlequins on April 11 as a fundraiser for Fatialofa but that game will no longer go ahead as the Premiership is suspended until April 14 at least.

Tatialofa played three years for the Hurricanes before moving to England in 2018.

- Reuters