Wife shares grief

The wife of 27-year-old rugby player, Faiva Tagatauli, who died from a suspected head injury during a game said she and her children are trying to come to terms with her husband’s unexpected death.

Faiva died on Thursday after sustaining the injury and losing consciousness last Saturday at Tuanaimato. He was playing for Vaimoso against Vailele in the Apia Rugby Union competition.

Speaking to the Weekend Observer yesterday, Seutatia Charlotte Vatu Fuluifaga, said it has been tough. She was with her four-year-old son, Bernadine Bismarck Faiva, whom she said misses his father dearly.

“My husband is such a noble person,” she said. “He has never laid a single hand on either me or my son.”

Seutatia is seven months pregnant. She said they were looking forward to their new baby.

“He’s the type that’s hard to forget. I never dreamt of such a horrific experience. He spoils me and my son so much and it’s just not fair that he’s gone,” she said, with tears.

The mother said her son thinks his father is just sleeping.

“Every time we bring him to the hospital, he would always hold his hand and cling to his dad to come sleep with him at home. Everyone in my family knows how much he’s spoiled by Faiva.”

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Seutatia’s mother, Sieni Vatu, shared her daughter’s grief.

“We always depended on him for things around the house,” she said. “He was never tired.”

Vaimoso Rugby Union, Team Manager Tauiliili Polito Vili said Faiva had called out wanting to be substituted 30 minutes into the second half of their match against Vailele.

“There was no visible incident that led to his injury. When the maul disbursed, Faiva stood up and that was when he called out to me. He walked of the field, came around to me and said that he was not feeling well. He was given water and ice, but not long after that he collapsed.”

The statement said the Apia Rugby Union Secretary called the ambulance which arrived “within seven minutes.”

“The ambulance staff attended to Faiva and worked on him for some time before he was taken to the hospital. Faiva was taken to the emergency at Motootua, and after x-rays, a visiting neurologist performed surgery on him.

“I contacted Faiva’s wife. The doctors waited for Seutatia to arrive and sign off before they took him into surgery. The result of the x-rays showed that there was internal bleeding on the right side of the brain, and the doctors said that it was lucky we were able to get him to the hospital on time.”

“This is a very sad loss for the Vaimoso Rugby Club,” said Tauiliili.

 “We have stood by the family's side, especially his wife since the incident on Saturday, offering our support and giving some money to help with expenses.”

Today’s rugby matches at Tuanaimato will be dedicated to Faiva Tagatauli’s memory. 

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