Football Communities Rally To Aid Of Darwin Footballer
Monday, January 15 2018 @ 12:44 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Wesley Hull
Matt Heath from the NT News reports on the incredible community support shown for injured Darwin Buffaloes player, Tai Martin-Page, seriously injured in a match last weekend. It is over a week since the terrible incident that has left Tai facing paralysis, but the Darwin football community and beyond have come together through crowd-funding and well-wishing for Tai [pictured second from right]. Matt Heath’s article states that:
THE family of a Territory footballer paralysed from the neck down after a sickening on-field clash in Darwin last weekend has been overwhelmed by the response to a fundraising campaign they have launched to try to get him back on his feet.
Doctors late Saturday gave Tai Martin-Page the all-clear to shift from Royal Perth Hospital’s intensive care unit to a specialised spinal ward where he will begin his rehabilitation under the guidance of renowned spinal surgeon Edward Baddour.
The 27-year-old has been told a final prognosis on his condition – and whether he will walk again – might be some time away but to expect “a long road ahead” after dislocating vertebrae in two places and damaging his spinal cord in the horrific collision in the opening minutes of the Northern Territory Football League match between his side Darwin Buffaloes and Wanderers at Darwin’s TIO Stadium on Saturday.
He was flown from Darwin to the Perth hospital for emergency spinal surgery last Sunday, where his brother Jay Martin-Page and family members have joined him.
Jay Martin-Page said his brother was “doing fine and showing positive signs” and had been motivated by all the public support from across the country
Jay and his partner Rachael Norman set up the public Help Tai Walk Again Go Fund Me page on Friday to help raise funds for medical and treatment bills and travel costs.
In just over 24 hours, the page had generated half of the $100,000 goal.
“Our family is absolutely overwhelmed with the amount of love, support and generosity with Tai’s Go Fund Me page – it’s truly amazing to see the amount of support and love everybody has for Tai and our family,” Jay said.
Donations have included $10,000 from the AFL & NT Thunder. On the Go Fund Me page, the family writes that Martin-Page is regarded by everyone who knows him as a “Mr Positivity” and that they expect he will “rise to the challenge” in the face of the traumatic life-changing event.
“Unfortunately the medical costs don’t come cheap, especially spinal care and rehabilitation, which is one of the most expensive in the medical field,” the page says.
“All money raised will go towards assisting with medical costs and ongoing treatment. Due to Tai not being treated in his home state, it will also help his family with travel and accommodation costs.”
Martin-Page shifted from Laura to Darwin at the end of the SA season six months ago “to pursue his dream in football” and play in the summer NTFL competition.
He made an instant impression in his first season with the Buffaloes and last week was set to be named as a 2018 signing for the NT Thunder.
In a mark of his character, Martin-Page has said he harbours no ill feeling to Wanderers player Mitchell Taylor, who will face an NTFL tribunal this week after his case was deferred last week. The Buffaloes made an emotion-filled return to the field yesterday at TIO Stadium. The league’s match review panel has charged Taylor with forceful front-on contact. To make a donation to Tai Martin-Page, visit https://www.gofundme.com/HelpTaiwalkagain
Matt’s original story can be found at: http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/ntfl-friends-and-family-rally-around-buffaloes-player-tai-martinpage-after-spinal-injury/news-story/9619254d61e6256502bcf9ca38755edc
Picture Credit: ABC News