Zane Tetevano: Leeds Rhinos prop provides health update as he prepares for charity 10k

Drew Darbyshire
Zane Tetevano Leeds Rhinos

Leeds forward Zane Tetevano has spoken of his ‘scary episode’ of suffering a stroke in training as he prepares to help raise money for the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund.

The Cook Islands international is set for heart surgery after suffering a stroke whilst in training with the Rhinos a couple of weeks ago.

Quick actions of medical staff present, emergency services and the team at Leeds General Infirmary ensured Tetevano received swift treatment and he has made an ‘excellent’ recovery.

Further tests revealed that the 32-year-old has a hole in his heart which caused the stroke, and will undergo surgery soon.

Tetevano provided a positive update on his health in an interview with the Rhinos website.

“Feeling good so far and in quite good spirits at the moment,” he said.

“It’s been a few weeks now and the boys and staff have been really well (with me), the club has been good and helping me throughout it as well as my family back home and my missus and kids.”

Zane Tetevano in ‘good spirits’ after suffering stroke in training

Recalling the ‘scary episode’, Tetevano said: “I was the first one out on the field and I had a spring in my step, ready to crack on with my session.

“I was pretty much just in my warm-up period when I just started slurring my words. I missed about three plays within a drill – just basic drills – and I remember just speaking to a team-mate of mine, slurring my words.

“Just couldn’t feel my tongue, my mouth, and that’s when everything started kicking in. I was kicking the ground, standing up, having the medical staff there, then the ambulance came.

“It was a scary episode. You just don’t know what was going on until you get told you’ve had a stroke.

“I guess everyone knows I’m quite an active person, I like my training. It was a shock, a kind of unreal feeling like, ‘No, I can’t be in this position’. But I’ve come out on the right side.”

Rhinos star to run Leeds 10k to raise money for Children’s Heart Surgery Fund

The cardiologist has advised that Tetevano can continue non-impact aerobic training in order to maintain his fitness but he is not yet cleared to play contact sport.

Tetevano has set up a JustGiving page to support the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund which supports children and adults born with congenital heart defects across Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire.

The Cook Islands powerhouse, who has also represented New Zealand internationally, will take part in the Run for All Leeds 10k this Sunday to raise money for the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund.

He said: “I was just running around the canals and one of the coaches mentioned it. I was pretty keen to jump straight on it.

“It’s something that has a deep place in my heart. It’s a little thing that I can do from my episode to help raise funds for the young ones and families.”

To support Tetevano’s fundraising efforts, click HERE.

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