The thoughts and prayers of all Sharks staff, players and members are with former junior representative and NYC player Kurt Drysdale who remains in intensive care in Royal North Shore Hospital after suffering a serious neck injury nine days ago.
Kurt, 20, suffered multiple vertebrae fractures after being tackled when playing for Cabramatta in a Sydney Shield match against Wentworthville at Blaxland Oval, Menai, on June 7.
He has so far undergone two surgeries to correct damage between his C2 and C5 vertebrae, but his condition is still being monitored and his future unclear.
His father Steve Drysdale told The Daily Telegraph he can hear and respond by lifting his eyebrows.
“It’s the hardest thing we have ever had to deal with, ever,” he said. It’s just come as big shock. It’s going to be a long, long battle.’’
Kurt’s mother Sonya was in the stands on the day of the accident, which was described by those who witnessed it as an innocuous-looking tackle.
From Stanwell Park in the Illawarra, Kurt attended Endeavour Sports High School and transferred from the Helensburgh Tigers where he played during his early years to play for the local Cronulla Caringbah Club. He was an integral part of Sharks Matthews Cup and SG Ball teams before joining the Sharks NYC squad for the 2014 season.
This year Kurt made the switch to Cabramatta and had played in both their Ron Massey Cup and Sydney Shield teams during 2015.
A clever ball running dummy half, Drysdale played alongside a number of current and future stars of the game, with a number of his former Sharks and Endeavour High teammates having dropped by Royal North Shore in an effort to lift his spirits.
With his immediate and long-term future still unknown, the Sharks will respect the situation at the current time but are tentatively putting plans in place in regards to fundraising events and initiatives once more is known of Kurt’s condition and his ongoing needs.
The Sharks will communicate with the Drysdale family, and with the Cabramatta club, as to the most appropriate course of action.
In the interim, a Facebook page #UniteForKurt has been set up by family and friends for donations to assist with Kurt’s medical expenses and ongoing support. Go to the following links to make a donation or to find out more about #UniteForKurt. CLICK HERE - http://www.gofundme.com/wvjk5wc
The Sharks will attempt to update friends, former team-mates and Sharks supporters as to any developments in relation to Kurt’s condition.