Leicester Tigers rugby player Taylor Gough is “unlikely” to ever walk again after he was left paralysed in a car accident.
The 20-year-old has been in intensive care in hospital since the accident last month, unable to move his legs.
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His mother Kerry has now told BBC Radio Leicester he is “highly unlikely” to walk again.
“I cannot tell you how hard it's been from the minute I took that call,” she said.
“We're just thankful he's actually alive. We're very thankful that he's got his brain - he's still Taylor.
“We're just trying to take the positives. When they said he could have five minutes off the ventilator to wean it in, he was asking for 15 minutes. Then they said he could do an hour, and he was doing two.
“Every single step of the way, he's pushing himself. He wants to do more and more, just like he was at his rugby.”
Rugby world in shock over Taylor Gough news
Gough’s devastating plight has left the rugby world shattered.
Leicester Tigers chairman Peter Tom told the club’s website: “We were all very sad to receive the news and, since finding out, everyone at Tigers has had Taylor in their thoughts.
“We have remained in daily contact with his family and will continue to support Taylor and them through this situation.
“He is a popular member of our squad and Taylor is one of us. And at Tigers, we look after our own.
“I have no doubt the Tigers community, rugby community and Leicester community will rally around him and his family as they navigate this tough time.”
Easily, the best thumbs up 👍 photo we have ever seen.— Leicester Tigers (@LeicesterTigers) July 15, 2020
Great to see a smile on the face of Taylor Gough, with his Mum Kerry and Dad John today! pic.twitter.com/6AWBuiseWa
Teammate George Ford said the club is reeling.
“It is devastating news. You never want to hear anything like that happen to one of your close mates,” the England international said.
“He's a good young kid who works really hard.
"When we all found out, it was pretty shocking, but we have all sent him messages and he is up and talking to us all and has his family around him.”
A donation page has raised over $50,000 for Taylor and his family through the Matt Hampson Foundation.
Hampson also played for Leicester until he was paralysed after a training accident in 2005.
The rugby family looked after me and I know you will do the same for Taylor Gough. The Foundation are here for both you and your family mate so stay strong and I’ll speak to you soon. https://t.co/nhvZb9Yiwf— Matt Hampson (@Hambofoundation) July 13, 2020
Best wishes to Taylor and his recovery. Rugby Family, do your thing....https://t.co/eJpa7zb2z1— Freddie Burns (@FreddieBurns) July 15, 2020
Hear the extraordinary Kerry Gough, mother of Leicester Tigers player Taylor, after a serious road accident left him currently paralysed.— BBC Leicester Sport (@BBCRLSport) July 15, 2020
We send all of our love to Taylor's family at this tough time. https://t.co/XTcnh2rSuV
.@LeicesterTigers player Taylor Gough needs the rugby community now more than ever. He has suffered multiple injuries, including severe spinal injuries, following a road traffic accident in June.— The RPA (@theRPA) July 14, 2020
Please show your support in whatever way you can 👉 https://t.co/u1VIFCXO6T
Everyone at @BBCRLSPORT is saddened to hear that the Leicester Tigers academy player, Taylor Gough, has suffered serious injuries after a road collision.— BBC Leicester Sport (@BBCRLSport) July 13, 2020
The club is in touch with @Hambofoundation, who have made contact with Taylor. Our thoughts are with him and his family. 🐯 pic.twitter.com/ZGgc813XKw