Mose Masoe steps towards recovery
Toa Samoa forward, Mose Masoe, is taking significant steps to recovery from a devastating spinal injury, now able to walk using frames and crutches.
The 30-year-old’s professional playing career came to an abrupt end in January when he suffered the injury playing for Hull Kingston Rovers in the Super League.
He described what should have been a ‘normal’ tackle to Sky Sports UK’s Jenna Brooks.
"I went in and kind of missed the bloke and my neck went into hyperextension," Masoe recalled.
"I snapped the ligament in the front of my neck and than as I was going down I snapped the back ligament.
"When I landed on the ground the bones in your neck just kind of crush together and it caused a little fracture."
He became paralysed from the shoulders down.
"I was a bit nervous at first, but I've had a lot of injuries in my career, so I just thought, they'll sort it out," Masoe said.
"They always give you the worst case scenarios, doctors.
"And in my head I was like, it's all between the ears, if you're strong there than you'll be sweet.
"I think all the injuries over the years have taught me lessons to prepare for this one. Always try and find a positive in a negative."
Masoe was presented with a major negative when told he would have to leave hospital due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Great Britain at the end of March.
"The very next day, I think our consultancy were fighting for us to stay spinal because they knew how important it was,” he said.
“I'm very lucky to be in here for another week. I was stoked!"
And Masoe and those treating him made considerable progress in that time:
"In just one week I've learnt how to transfer from my chair into a bath chair, I've started to walk with crutches, I've got my own walking frame, so I walk around my bed just with a frame. The physio's have been awesome.
"If I fall over, they've taught me how to crawl and to climb up onto something to get you back into the chair. I've learnt that all in a week."
He is taking motivation from his cousin Mark, who suffers from cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy.
"I had one moment with my partner where I had a bit of a cry,” Masoe said.
“But I thought of my cousin and my mood just changed, straight away and I became a happier person.
"Just knowing he has been in a wheelchair his whole life, I can't be here sulking about myself where he hasn't had the option to live his life to the fullest. I've been lucky enough to do something I love for the last 12 years.
"I've been in hospital for 12 weeks. But it's been a good journey, every day is exciting, it's like being reborn. You have to learn how to do everything again."