It was pretty scary – Fatialofa opens up on spinal injury horror

By Peter Hanson 1 April 2020 1
It was pretty scary – Fatialofa opens up on spinal injury horror

Michael Fatialofa has opened up on his "traumatising" experience in intensive care and described suffering his serious spine injury as "pretty scary".

The Worcester Warriors lock sustained a fracture in his C4 vertebrae as well as a spinal contusion, a condition which causes compression on the spine, during the Premiership encounter with Saracens on January 4.

Fatialofa spent four weeks at St Mary's Hospital in London, three of those in intensive care, before being transferred to a specialist spinal clinic at the Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital.

Last month, his wife Tatiana posted a video on Instagram of Fatialofa walking unaided, which she described as "a miracle".

In an interview with 1 NEWS, Fatialofa spoke about those life-changing events.

"I wasn't even trying to be a hero or anything. I think it was just the perfect mix - my head was in a bad position. His hip was there and it was just one of those things," he said.

"From my neck down, I couldn't feel anything or move anything.

"It was pretty scary and I was really short of breath because ... the spinal cord was compressed and anything below the spinal cord is affected, and that includes my lungs, and I was just kind of trying to breathe."

On being in intensive care, he added: "It's a time that's tough to think about.

"My room-mates were victims of gun violence and stabbings and I could hear everything going on. Just all the beeping and no sleep. It's something I don't really like thinking about now that I'm past it.

"I heard some people die next to me. It was quite traumatising. All I could hear was a beeper go off, everyone rush in and then I have a new room-mate the next day."

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Peter Hanson

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