Casey Tutungi comes out of induced coma
Source: Geelong Advertiser
SOUTH Barwon footballer Casey Tutungi has woken from a coma just two days after suffering serious spinal damage in a freak accident.
The Tutungi family this afternoon issued a statement confirming the 27-year-old had returned to full consciousness in Melbourne’s Austin Hospital after being placed in an induced coma with a broken back.
“Firstly we would like to thank all family and friends for their concern, love and support at what is an extremely difficult time,” the statement read.
“Casey is receiving the very best of care from the experienced and caring staff at the Austin ICU. Casey’s condition is severe but the good news is that he is no longer in an induced coma and he is stable.
“We will let you Know when he is able to have visitors.”
The positive news came as South Barwon said it would offer counselling to players and supporters in the wake of Saturday’s horrific accident.
Tutungi, the Swans co-coach and former Geelong VFL listed player, had collected the ball and ran head-first into the stomach of a St Joseph’s player late in the game at McDonald’s Reserve.
Tutungi’s parents Chris and Carol and his fiancé Bridget, who is pregnant with the couple’s first child, were by his bedside and confirmed he had suffered damage to his fourth and fifth vertebra.
As the club struggles to come to terms with the possibility he may never walk again, Football Geelong has offered counselling and support services to members and players of both South Barwon and St Joseph’s who were visibly affected after the collision.
South Barwon football manager Bill McCann said the club’s coaches and senior hierarchy were to meet tonight to discuss counselling provisions, with offers of support from AFL Victoria and the Geelong Football Club.
“Players were sitting in groups and on their own in the clubrooms and they were very distressed,’” he said.
“He is a much loved figure at the club and it’s been a very difficult time for all involved.”
Football Geelong boss Lee Hartman yesterday labelled the incident a freak accident and said the AFL and AFL Victoria had offered full support to players and officials in need.
“If the club or individuals need help or counselling of any sort then we’ll have resources available,” he said.
“If help’s needed, they only have to ask and we’ve had those discussions with the club and they are fully aware.
”Also the Lorne Football Club, where Casey previously played, have made contact with us and their players are obviously affected by it as well, so we’ll be helping those guys as well.
“We’re all in shock and the football community, not just Football Geelong, is thinking about Casey and our fingers are crossed and our thoughts are with him and his family.”