Cal Rugby Player from El Dorado Hills Paralyzed During the Bears’ National Title Game

by Placerville Newswire / May 12, 2017 / comments

Cal rugby sophomore from El Dorado Hills Robert Paylor suffered an injury that left him paralyzed below the chest during the Bears’ national title victory on Saturday, his family said.

The precise nature of Paylor’s injury has not been disclosed, but his family said that his lower body is paralyzed and that he has “limited motion in his arms.”  During the Collegiate National Championship Rugby Match on May 6 , Robert suffered a sports injury that has left him paralyzed below the chest.  He had surgery that evening for his best chance of regaining movement of his arms and hands. 

Paylor was hurt in a collision early in the Bears’ title match against Arkansas State at Stevens Stadium in Santa Clara. He was immobilized and taken off the field on a stretcher, and underwent surgery Saturday night at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.

“Our team is devastated by Rob’s injury,” Cal head coach Jack Clark said in a statement. “There aren’t words to adequately explain our sorrow for what he and his family are going through. Rob is an extraordinary teammate, friend and student-athlete.”

The family said that it was “overwhelmed” by the outpouring of support it has received from the Cal rugby family and friends and people from around the country.  “We can’t find the words that express what that has meant to all of us in this very sad time in our lives,” the family said in the statement. “Robert is currently working on stabilizing his condition so he can start rehabilitation."

“This will be a long and difficult journey for Robert and his outcome is uncertain. But we know his faith and determination will get him as far as he can go in regaining mobility.”

A 6-foot-5, 233-pound sophomore Paylor attended Jesuit High School in Carmichael. 

At Cal, he was a starter at the lock position, which places a premium on height and strength.

“His challenges will be severe, long in duration and difficult beyond measure,” Clark said. “Our team intends to be there with him every bit of the way.”

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