BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — A University of California, Berkeley rugby player was partially paralyzed after being injured during the opening minutes of a national championship game.
Robert Paylor’s family said in a statement that the 20-year-old sophomore is paralyzed below the chest and has limited motion in his arms due to a spinal injury.
Cal’s rugby head coach Jack Clark said Tuesday that the devastated team “intends to be there with him every bit of the way.”
Paylor, of El Dorado Hills, was injured Saturday in a game where the Bears beat Arkansas State in Santa Clara.
His family set up a GoFundMe page, saying he faces a difficult journey with an uncertain outcome.
They estimate his medical expenses for the first year of therapy to be about $1 million.
Here is a statement from the family:
“The Paylor family would like to extend our sincere gratitude and thanks to the Cal Rugby family, friends and community for all your prayers and support. We can’t find the words that express what that has meant to all of us in this very sad time in our lives. Robert is currently working on stabilizing his condition so he can start rehabilitation. The injury paralyzed his lower body with limited motion in his arms. This will be a long and difficult journey for Robert and his outcome is uncertain. But we know his faith and determination will get him as far as he can go in regaining mobility. We are overwhelmed with the love and support we’ve received from people all over the country and ask that you continue to keep Robert in your prayers.”
And here is a statement from the athletic director Mike Williams.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Robert and his family at this difficult time, and our primary concern is for Robert’s long-term health and well-being. We are here to provide help and support in every way possible. Our excitement over another national championship is clearly tempered by Robert’s injury, and we certainly hope for the best outcome him and his family.”
Rugby Head Coach Jack Clark said:
“Our team is devastated by Rob’s injury. There aren’t words to adequately explain our sorrow for what he and his family are going through. Rob is an extraordinary teammate, friend and student-athlete. As a University-recognized Scholar Athlete, he represents everything that is right and true about collegiate athletics. His challenges will be severe, long in duration and difficult beyond measure. Our team intends to be there with him every bit of the way.”
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