Former Cronulla star Nathan Stapleton has acquired heartbreaking information after he was rushed to hospital with a severe neck damage.
Former Sharks star Nathan Stapleton has been advised he’s paralysed from the shoulders down.
It was confirmed this week that he had fractured his neck whereas taking part in nation rugby union in NSW.
The Daily Telegraph first reported Stapleton has now been given the heartbreaking information he’s a quadriplegic.
The gifted fullback was rushed to West Wyalong District Hospital after he was caught in a ruck whereas taking part in for Boorowa towards West Wyalong within the Central West District Rugby Union on April 9.
The Boorowa Rugby Club introduced on Tuesday he was nonetheless in a severe situation in hospital after being moved to the spinal unit at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney.
Stapleton’s household confirmed his tragic information on Friday.
“Nathan was hospitalised after fracturing his neck while playing country rugby union on 9 April 2022 in West Wyalong,’’ the Go Fund Me page 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 stabilised, 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, paralysed from the shoulders down.
“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.’’
Stapleton has an 18-month-old son and is expecting a newborn baby with his partner Kate this year.
According to reports, a Cronulla Sharks welfare officer has made contact with Stapleton and his young family as he continues to be treated in hospital.
A nurse was at the game when Stapleton was injured and was able to give his first aid before paramedics arrived.
Reports this week claimed spectators saw Stapleton was turning blue and that a defibrillator was used to treat him on the field.
Stapleton scored 17 tries 61 games for the Sharks and received representative honours when selected for the Prime Minister’s XIII in 2012.
He retired professionally in 2016 after finishing his career with the London Broncos in 2016.
The Australian sporting community has been rocked by the news.
Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon has spoken publicly to support Stapleton.
“It’s so saddening and such a shame,’’ Fitzgibbon said.
“I was at the Roosters when Stapo was there as well.
“It’s just a tragedy for Nathan and his family and whatever the Sharks can do to support them is crucial. Rugby League in general should get behind him. It’s definitely sad news and my best wishes goes to Nathan and all involved.’’
The high profile NRL Physio Twitter account posted: “Devastating news that ex-NRL player Nathan Stapleton suffered a severe Spinal Cord Injury while playing for his local club, the Boorowa Goldies.
“The injury has left Nathan a quadriplegic, paralysed from the shoulders down. Thoughts with him & his family”.
Sport reporter Lachlan McKirdy posted on Twitter: “Absolutely devastating news about Nathan Stapleton, thinking of his family and in particular his partner who is expecting their second child within the next few months. The neck injury has left Stapleton paralysed from the shoulders down”
The rugby membership’s Facebook submit this week confirmed the match had been deserted after Stapleton’s horror incident.
“During our game last Saturday at West Wyalong, Goldies Men’s player Nathan Stapleton suffered a significant injury during the second half which led to the match being abandoned,” the membership posted to its members on Facebook.
“Unfortunately during contact, Nathan fractured his neck and injured his spinal cord, requiring significant medical assistance. Through an incredible effort from members of each club, Nathan was given first aid until paramedics could arrive.
“Nathan has begun his recovery at hospital in Sydney, and whilst he shows improvement each day the extent of his injuries and long term impact remain unclear. All of our thoughts and prayers are with Nathan, his wife Kate and their family at this time.
“A special thank you to all of the Goldies family, rugby clubs and Boorowa citizens who have offered their thoughts and support. We will continue to support Nathan in the short and long term and we will communicate plans for this in the near future.”