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Andrew Fifita has opened up on the incident that left him fearing for his life and the messages to his wife and kids that the Sharks forward thought were going to be his last.
The big forward copped a brutal blow to the throat early in the second half of the round 22 loss to the Knights, resulting in difficulties breathing and swallowing.
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About 20 minutes after the game ended, a distressed Fifita was brought out of the dressing sheds and onto the field where he was examined by paramedics.
Onlookers reportedly noticed a change in Fifita's voice and became concerned about his increasingly panicked state, with stadium officials forced to close the door to the tunnel to stop people coming out to check on him.
When the medical team realised that Fifita's airways were closing rapidly and his difficulties breathing became worse, they quickly whisked him away to a Brisbane hospital, where he was placed in an intensive care unit (ICU) and underwent emergency treatment.
On Monday night, Fifita told Nine News he thought he was going to die while being transported to hospital.
Andrew Fifita has revealed he was so fearful on his way to hospital after a shocking throat injury, he sent his wife a farewell message in case he died.
But his life-threatening ordeal hasn't stopped him from wanting to play on.@Danny_Weidler #9News pic.twitter.com/FLhydWBHXZ
— 9News Sydney (@9NewsSyd) October 18, 2021
Fifita revealed that he asked the club doctor to borrow his mobile phone so he could send what he thought was a dying message to his wife Nikkita and their kids.
“I ended up getting the doc, I said ‘doc I need your phone’. He said ‘what?’ and I was like ‘I really need your phone’,” he said.
“I ended up writing a nice text to my missus (saying) how much I love her.
“She knows the rules. I just told her how much I loved her. (I said) please show the kids these messages when they get older.
“I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it there.”
Andrew Fifita reveals how close he was to dying
After being placed in an induced coma, Fifita underwent laryngeal surgery and has since revealed how close he came to dying during the procedure.
“They ended up cutting my neck. He said (if they did it) a minute later I would have died,” Fifita said.
“Then they realised they clipped an artery in my neck, and I was bleeding all through my lungs, so I was drowning in my own blood.
“It’s surreal. It is scary.
“After sitting with the doc, and he’s telling me these stories of what actually happened, he said the trauma will be real and once it hits you it hits you.
“It’s taken a long time to process it and I’m still not through it. When you sit in front of a doctor and he tells you, ‘four times I went home at night, Andrew, and didn’t think you were going to make it’… it’s one of those things.”
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