Injury Leaves Cal Rugger Paralyzed


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By David Bush, Staff Writer
Posted May 9, 2017
If by BearInsider Staff or Contributor, this article is Copyright © 2017

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Cal rugger Robert Paylor
Cal rugby player Robert Paylor, injured in Saturday's victory over Arkansas State in the Varsity Cup final, remained hospitalized Tuesday, with his lower body paralyzed.
The length and extent of his recovery is uncertain, but it is clear the rehabilitation will be a long, difficult process.

His family released the following statement on Monday night.

"The Paylor family would like to extend our sincere gratitude and thanks to the Cal Rugby family, friends, and community for all your prayers and support. We can't find the words that express what that has meant to all of us in this very sad time in our lives. Robert is currently working on stabilizing his condition so he can start rehabilitation. The injury paralyzed his lower body with limited motion in his arms. This will be a long and difficult journey for Robert and his outcome is uncertain. But we know his faith and determination will get him as far as he can go in regaining mobility. We are overwhelmed with the love and support we've received from people all over the country and ask that you continue to keep Robert in your prayers."

Both head coach Jack Clark and athletic director Mike Williams issued statements Tuesday afternoon.

"Our team is devastated by Rob's injury," Clark's statement read. "There aren't words to adequately explain our sorrow for what he and his family are going through. Rob is an extraordinary teammate, friend and student-athlete. As a University-recognized Scholar Athlete, he represents everything that is right and true about collegiate athletics.

"His challenges will be severe, long in duration and difficult beyond measure. Our team intends to be there with him every bit of the way.."  

Williams statement struck a similar tone. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Robert and his family at this difficult time, and our primary concern is for Robert's long-term health and well-being," the A.D.'s statement read. "We are here to provide help and support in every way possible. Our excitement over another national championship is clearly tempered by Robert's injury, and we certainly hope for the best outcome him and his family."

Paylor, a 6-5, 233-pound sophomore from El Dorado Hills, sustained a serious neck injury early in the first half Saturday at Stevens Stadium in Santa Clara. He was taken to a local hospital and underwent surgery.

A GoFundMe campaign has been established to help with his medical expenses. Reportedly $120,000 has been raised with the goal of $1 million.

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