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Leeds Rhinos star auctions off shirt to raise money to pay for Zane Tetevano’s heart surgery

Leeds Rhinos recently revealed that New Zealand international Zane Tetevano, 32, suffered a stroke whilst training a number of weeks ago.

The quick actions of the medical staff present, emergency services, and the fantastic team at Leeds General Infirmary ensured Tetevano received swift treatment and he has made an excellent recovery. Further tests revealed he has a hole in the heart which caused the stroke. This will be surgically repaired soon.

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. He hopes to return to the field as soon as possible.

Commenting on the news Tetevano said, “Firstly, I would like to thank the club’s medical staff, the paramedics, doctors and nurses who looked after me when I collapsed. I knew I was in the best possible care and I owe them alot, especially our medical team, who reacted so quickly on the field, I will never know how lucky I was. I am confident that I will be ready to return to action as soon as I am cleared to do so.”

Leeds Rhinos Performance Director Richard Hunwicks added, “Zane is one the fittest players at the club and someone for whom training is such a big part of his life. It is important that he continues to train to give himself the best possible chance of making a full recovery. As a performance department, we always aim to work to options that the players can do when they are in periods of rehabilitation.

“He is unable to do normal contact training because of the medication he is on whilst awaiting surgery and has to train at a lower intensity than he is used to. Mentally that can be a challenge for a professional athlete. The chance to take part in the Leeds 10k is a great way to lift his spirits and be part of a team whilst doing it. This is a great opportunity to do something with Zane that supports his physical and mental well being.”

His Leeds teammate has shown the amazing camaraderie in rugby league by helping raise funds for the surgery.

Stand-off Blake Austin has put up a signed All Blacks shirt to help raise funds to pay for the surgery.

He said on Instagram:

“Hey guys, good mate Zane Tetevano has recently undergone a heart operation. He has been personally left with a pretty hefty bill for the op.

“This is a signed Sonny Bill Williams all Blacks Jersey. If you know anyone that could be interested give us a DM.

“For a great bloke with a beautiful family.”

If you want to help Tetevano and own the shirt you need to message Austin on Instagram.

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