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Andrew Fifita has reportedly undergone surgery and is on the mend after a larynx injury during an NRL game left him in an induced coma.
Now Cronulla Sharks legend Paul Gallen has revealed just how scary the entire ordeal was while also heaping praise on the club doctor who potentially saved the forward's life.
Andrew Fifita suffered a fracture to his larynx & is currently in a medically induced coma. Thankfully he is in a stable condition & will undergo surgery tomorrow.- NRL PHYSIO (@nrlphysio) August 16, 2021
The larynx is the cartilage at the front of the throat that protects the vocal cords and airway. pic.twitter.com/4OFixJtlhl
After contact with two Newcastle Knights players late in the first half, Fifita went down clutching his throat and was eventually taken from the field to conduct a Head Injury Assessment.
He ended up passing the medical exam and returned to action in the second half.
But Fifita's Sharks teammates started noticing that his voice was gradually deteriorating as he barked instructions on the pitch.
Upon hearing this, a club doctor instantly knew what was up and escorted him from the field of play while giving him one clear instruction: go to the hospital.
The doctor suspected that Fifita had injured his larynx and knew that he needed immediate medical attention.
Like most footy players, Gallen admits that Fifita probably wanted to play on, but thankfully the doctor was on hand to stop him from potentially doing further harm.
Speaking on 2GB's Wide World of Sports Radio, Gallen said: "He came back and spoke to Andrew and said, 'Mate, you need to go to hospital', and Andrew being Andrew said, 'Not a chance, what are you talking about? There's nothing wrong with me'.
"Within minutes he'd had a shower and come back out and he started to feel like it had swollen up.
"They basically said, 'You need to go to hospital right now', that was when they walked him out of the changing rooms and started treating him. It very, very quickly turned very, very bad.
"He's going to have to owe those doctors a beer, that's for sure, the first one in particular who realised something may be wrong. He asked Andrew, 'Can you breathe okay?', and he was okay at that point in time.
"It happened very, very quickly after that, so without a doubt he's got a big thank you to that doctor for realising what had happened.
"It was touch-and-go there for a moment. I spoke to a couple of guys who were with him last night on the way to the hospital and there were some concerning moments where he was really, really concerned for himself. You can imagine it would be so scary to feel like you're suffocating.
"The hospital ride in the ambulance was apparently really, really scary, that's when things started to go really bad."
Had Fifita of gone back onto the field and hurt his throat even more, then who knows what the outcome would have been.
Thanks to the quick-thinking actions of the club doctor who would have told head coach Josh Hannay about the injury, Fifita was quickly rushed to hospital and now begins his road to recovery.
"He's just so lucky he wasn't placed back on that field," Gallen added.
"Had he been needed to go back on he may have copped another shot and it could've been even worse."
Featured Image Credit: NRL
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