Former rugby player Nathan Stapleton has been left paralyzed from the shoulders down following a horrific injury.
Stapleton, a 32-year-old father and former NRL star who played for Rooster and Cronulla, suffered a life-changing injury to his spinal cord while playing for Boorowa during NSW’s Central West District Rugby Union competition on April 9.
The athlete, who has an 18-month-old child and another baby on the way, has become a quadriplegic overnight, his heartbroken family revealed.
“Nathan was hospitalized after fracturing his neck while playing country rugby union on 9 April 2022 in West Wyalong,” the GoFundMe page set up to help the family with medical expenses reads.
“Unfortunately, Nathan severely injured his spinal cord during contact and required significant medical assistance. Through an incredible effort from members of each club, Nathan was given first aid until paramedics could arrive. Once stabilized, Nathan was airlifted to receive emergency medical treatment in Sydney.
“Nathan has begun his recovery in hospital, and whilst he shows improvement each day, the extent of his injuries and long term impact remain unclear. Nathan’s spinal cord has been damaged at the C4 level of his cervical vertebrae.
“At this stage, the injury has left Nathan a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the shoulders down.”
The post adds: “While the Stapleton family remain hopeful that Nathan will regain some movement, it has become clear that Nathan will require long term support and care.
“Anyone who knows Nathan can attest to his determination and incredible work ethic. He has demonstrated this through his success playing in the NRL with both the Cronulla Sharks and the Sydney Roosters.
“There is no doubt that Nathan will bring that same determination and commitment to his rehab and recovery. There is no limit to what Nathan can achieve.”
Our thoughts are with Nathan and the family during these challenging times.
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