New UK signing ‘feared for his life’ after losing five kilograms from COVID-19

With COVID-19 continue to wreak havoc on societies around the world, one rugby league player bore the brunt of it. 

Joey Leilua, who recently signed for the Featherstone Rovers on a one-year deal after exiting NRL side Wests Tigers, was scheduled to fight Chris Heighington in the boxing ring on December 10.

After the 29-year-old was struck down by COVID, however, the fight was postponed with a cancellation on the cards.

Leilua, on the other hand, had other ideas and the fight has been rescheduled for December 22.

It’s been a remarkable recovery for the Samoan international who, at one point during his illness, feared for his life.

“It wasn’t pleasant, I was in there for four days, I came back out, and the next night I went back in because I couldn’t breathe,” Leilua told the Daily Telegraph.

“I got an oxygen tank, they left me in there for another four days.

“It was scary, I was thinking of my wife and kids and if I would see the next day.”

Leilua went into further detail about his symptoms, but also highlighted the desire to get out of hospital.

“I feel happy that I’m alive.

“I got symptoms out of nowhere. I started vomiting in the car on the way to training, I thought: ‘This is weird’, and that’s when I decided to get a Covid test. The next day I got tested and it came back positive.

“The next five days were pretty rough. I couldn’t move, my chest was sore, I sat in bed and got hot and cold real quick.

“I couldn’t sleep, didn’t eat for three days. I lost about five kilograms, I’m putting it back on now.

“I was so bored in there, by my eighth day in hospital I thought if I don’t get out of bed and do something I’m going to go crazy, so I did some shadow-boxing.

“I felt like I was in a cage, I wanted to get out and I couldn’t wait.

“As soon as I got out I went straight on the treadmill, just to walk and feel it.”

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