20 May 2020
Players' Fund recipient ARTHUR CULLINAN tells RugbyRocks.com about his journey to recovery after suffering a serious rugby injury in 2013.
At the time of the injury, I was in my fourth year of veterinary science at the University of Pretoria.
Rugby was always an escape from my normal day life stuck in the books as my course was extremely demanding. I really do miss the comradery of it all!
The injury happened during a koshuis game. I went in for a big tackle and the other player changed direction at the last minute and instead of trying to run past me, he tried to bump me off.
I was already committed to the tackle, so my head connected with him, instead of my shoulder, and I dislocated two vertebrae.
I use an electric wheelchair when working around our farm, but I mainly use my manual wheelchair so I don't become too lazy!
Both wheelchairs were donated by the Players' Fund, which has played a massive role in my recovery.
The Players' Fund and QuadPara Association of South Africa got me into an incredible rehab programme, which helped me learn all the necessary skills and techniques I needed for my 'new normal'. I can still write with a splint and am keeping super busy.
I had to change my course, because being a vet is a very physical job. I am currently studying a BSc in Genetics and Physiology through Unisa. I also tutor high-school maths and science in Vryburg in the North West where I stay with my parents.
I've had to keep super positive because being negative isn't going to get me anywhere and was never an option for me.
To use the Afrikaans word, I'm hardegat (hard-headed)!