Michael Fatialofa

Worcester deny Michael Fatialofa's claim about unpaid hospital bill for spinal injury

Fatialofa, 28, suffered a bad neck injury in a game in January 2020 and spent months in hospital, including a stay at a specialist rehabilitation unit in Buckinghamshire.

The former Hurricanes lock has posted on social media that “hopefully the Worcester Warriors will pay my hospital bill this year’’.

But the Warriors have issued a statement saying they were “disappointed’’ by Fatialofa’s comment and have insisted neither they nor the New Zealander should have to pay anything more.

Fatialofa, Worcester at odds over outstanding medical bills

It was feared the former Hurricanes lock might never walk again after suffering a serious neck injury during a Premiership game 13 months ago.

Fatialofa was left temporarily paralysed and spent almost three weeks in intensive care in London before being moved to a private rehab unit because the NHS Hospital next door was full.

In July, Fatialofa received a six figure bill for his stay at the Private Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital and tweeted overnight that he was still waiting on Worcester Warriors to pay the outstanding fee.

Worcester's Fatialofa back walking

The Worcester Warriors lock sustained the spinal injury during a Premiership match against Saracens on January 4 and spent four weeks at St Mary's Hospital in London, with three weeks of those in intensive care.

After being transferred to a specialist spinal clinic at the Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital, Fatialofa took his first steps back to recovery in February, posting a video to Instagram that showed the 27-year-old lifting his legs without support and taking steps with the aid of staff.

Injured Kiwi rugby player Michael Fatialofa walking with aid of crutches

The former Hurricanes lock was shown walking with the aid of crutches in an Instagram story video posted by his wife Tatiana.

Fatialofa has been working on his rehabilitation at a specialist spinal rehab unit in England after he was injured while playing for Worcester Warriors against Saracens in the English Premiership on January 4. 

He spent four weeks in a London hospital where he had surgery to ease swelling.

Recently, Fatialofa has released videos of his attempts to walk again and not require a wheelchair - including his successes and small failures.

Support pours in for Michael Fatialofa

The Worcester Warriors' second rower suffered a serious neck injury last month and was recently moved to a specialist spinal injuries clinic.

A fundraising campaign to help support the 27-year-old and his wife Tatiana during the rehabilitation period had already raised more than £28,000 ($US37,000) within the first 72 hours.

Players Association chief executive Damian Hopley said the campaign was set up to ensure Fatialofa had ongoing support.

"You couldn't think of sadder circumstances to see such a beautiful big man as Michael in hospital," he said.

Fundraising campaign launched for injured lock Michael Fatialofa

The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a spinal contusion after being injured during his side's 62-5 English Premiership defeat at Saracens on 4 January, and underwent surgery three days later to relieve the pressure on his spinal cord caused by bruising and swelling

After four weeks in St Mary's Hospital in London - three of them in intensive care - the New Zealand-Samoan second rower has now been moved to a specialist spinal injuries clinic at the Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital in Aylesbury.

Neck surgery success for Michael Fatialofa in England

Fatialofa's Worcester club released a statement saying the former Hurricanes lock was still in the Intensive Care Unit at St Mary's Hospital in London but was in a stable condition following his operation on Tuesday (NZT).

"Warriors lock Michael Fatialofa is resting and recovering in St Mary's Hospital in Paddington having undergone surgery last night to relieve pressure on his spinal cord caused by swelling," the statement said.

"The operation was a success and Michael is stable, but he remains in a serious condition and is receiving on-going care.