REALITY has hit Mose Masoe hard a year after his life changed in an instant.
The Hull KR star has wowed people with social media pictures and videos of his recovery from a spinal injury that initially left him paralysed.
But behind the bravery, there is concern. Bills need paying, mouths – including new baby Lui – need feeding, the future beyond 2021 looks bleak.
Because he is not a UK citizen, there is no Personal Independence Payment for him or Carer’s Allowance for wife Carissa.
Once his Hull KR contract ends this year, the couple and their three children are likely to return to Australia – because he is a New Zealand citizen, he is not eligible for benefits there either.
And after learning his insurance payout will be a maximum of £50,000, which may be eaten up by the flight home, Masoe is scared and feels he has fallen through a hole in rugby league’s insurance system.
The 6ft 6ins Samoa international, who had a ligament snap in his neck and block his spinal cord – initially paralysing him from the chest down – as he made a tackle at Wakefield a year ago today, said: “It’s the truth, it really hit me.
“People who know me say, ‘You’re walking now, you should be all right.’ They think I’m going to be fine but this is the reality – I’m never going to get back to normal.
“As much as I’m positive in trying to get better physically, it’s more about the battles ahead.
“What does life hold beyond this year? Simple answer, we don’t know. I don’t know what job I’ll be able to do, if I can do one at all.
“It’s been an eye opener, it’s scary. I haven’t thought about it as I’m so focused on my rehab. I’ve lived day by day, you try to grind through and try to get a finger or a toe moving.
“And the insurance situation isn’t looking really good at the moment. That needs to be changed in the game.
“As a player, even with an injury that’s life changing like mine, we should be looked after. Besides death, what’s happened to me is the second worst fate.
“I’ll never be normal again. I don’t want to sound negative but it’s the truth.
“What may come next has been a reality check. Insurance could mean something, it could mean nothing. We’ve no idea but it’s something that needs reviewing in our game.”
Masoe’s spirit cannot be doubted and Hull KR are doing their bit. Owner Neil Hudgell has promised to pay his contract and team-mates Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Weller Hauraki make sure he gets what he needs.
Now boss Tony Smith, who wants the 31-year-old to help in some way at coaching sessions, is leading the new cause to make sure he is not cast adrift once his Craven Park deal ends this year.
He said: “The insurance could be £50,000, it could be £5,000. That’s the level we insure our players at at the moment.
“It’s something we’ve got to look at in case something like this does happen again.
“We’re not sure whether he’ll have a working capacity again. That’s the scary bit for him and his family.
“At the end of the year, he’s out of contract, out of visa, with no training other than rugby league and no dexterity in his hands.
“He can’t hold a pen or use a keyboard. You listen to the inspirational videos but this is the reality.
“Mose’s not sure how he’s going to provide for his family in the future, if he’s ever going to be able too. He may well have already peaked in his recovery.
“We thought he’s just going to progress and everything’s going to be rosy. Well it isn’t. So we’re getting a group together and will organise some events for him, give him some options for what happens next.”
A fundraising page where you can donate to help Mose Masoe can be found at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hull-kingston-rovers-trust
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