Moimoi’s brush with death

“IF you weren’t a fit footballer, you’d probably be dead.”

These were the chilling words former Parramatta cult hero Fuifui Moimoi was faced with after a bout of the flu turned into two weeks in intensive care with a serious infection.

Speaking to The Saturday Telegraph from his hospital bed in the north of England, Moimoi admitted he feared for his life when the infection started invading his body in the space of days.

“I was ready to go to training, but my body was weak,” recalled Moimoi, who is now playing for the Leigh Centurions in the English Championship.

“I decided to stay home and sleep and when I woke up the next day my temperature and heart rate was really high and I couldn’t stand up.

“I also couldn’t lift my arm because it started puffing up and I was in a lot of pain.

“Luckily one of my Tongan mates was staying with me for a couple of days and he rushed me straight to see the club doctor.”

Moimoi was now in a bad way.

His body was losing strength by the minute, while one arm and hand had blown up to resemble a human marshmallow man.

Moimoi spent two weeks in hospital. Photo/Daily Telegraph

Leigh owner Derek Beaumont saw Moimoi turn up to the club in a weak and lethargic state.

“The team doctor saw Fui and he knew something wasn’t right and sent him straight to the hospital,” Beaumont said.

“He had drips on him all over the place because the infection was shutting his body down.

“When he went into hospital his temperature was 41.7 and his heart rate was 130 while he was laid down relaxed.

“He had some kind of infection in his arm, which was spreading throughout his body and causing a lot of pain, but thankfully we stopped all of that.

“Fui is still weak and has lost about 15 kilos, but he is getting better.

“The main thing is he is okay, because the doctors said because he waited so long to get help it would have taken a lesser man out.”

It’s a reality that certainly hasn’t been lost on Moimoi, even though he left hospital on Friday after almost a fortnight.

“I’m just happy I’m still here — I’m very lucky and blessed,” he said.

“I’ve started walking around in the last two days, but the last eight days prior to that I’ve been in pain the whole time.”

Despite losing a significant amount of weight and strength, Moimoi was in good spirits on Friday when his wife and two children arrived from the United States to visit him.

Beaumont also confirmed the bookend has rediscovered his famed appetite.

“Fui is asking for the good old Burger King and KFC, so he must be on the mend,” he joked.

“The physio said to him he can eat what he wants and as much of it because he has got to build his body back up again.

“But we’re just glad Fui is okay, because it could have been a lot worse.”


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