Coronavirus forces Masoe out of UK hospital
The joy of former Toa Samoa hardman Mose Masoe’s "uplifting and incredible" recovery from a spinal injury has been short-lived.
The co-captain of UK league club, Hull Kingston Rovers, suffered a career-ending injury during a pre-season game and had been recovering at the Pinderfields Hospital's Spinal Treatment Centre in Wakefield.
During the weekend, Hull KR coach Tony Smith sang praises of Masoe’s speedy recovery.
"He can pull himself up now, not unassisted but using his own power," Smith told Hull Live in the UK. "It's almost like the parallel bars in the Olympics, he wheels himself into those, pulls himself up and walks forward and then walks backwards.
"It's incredible, considering where he was and what the expectations were. It's remarkable and uplifting, it really is.”
But the joy of progress for Masoe and his family has been cut short since he has been asked to leave hospital to make room for incoming coronavirus patients.
PA Media reports that Masoe has just been delivered the news and he is not happy.
"They've got to clear out a lot of wards to get in the people who have coronavirus so a lot of us have to go home," Masoe is quoted as saying by the Hull KR website.
"I'm not really ready to go home at all. It will be nice to get home so I can spend some time with my kids but there's a lot of things I can't do myself, like going to the toilet and things like that. I don't want to put a burden on my missus.”
Masoe said he just got told of the news and that hospital staff are concerned about the safety of patients like Masoe with the rapid spread of the coronavirus.
"We need people to stay home so we can get back into the hospital to do rehab. People need to stop being selfish because we've felt the effects already,” Masoe continued.
"It's the first time in the world you can save lives by just staying home watching TV or playing PlayStation. That's my frustration with people who aren't listening.
"My wife is pregnant so they've all been staying home and she's only going out to get food. They've been doing the right thing and staying away. I haven't seen them for two weeks.
"I'm gutted to be going home because I wanted to keep my progression going. The next step was to go from parallel bars to a walking frame to crutches and then you can pretty much walk by yourself."
Masoe has been given 72 hours to leave the hospital.
He and another Samoan who plays rugby union, Michael Fatialofa, have been making headlines in the UK and around the world for their speedy recoveries from spinal injuries.