The New Zealand TV One programme ‘Seven Sharp’ last night featured 25 year old SETI TAFUA who was never meant to walk again. On the rise he had moved to Sydney to play club rugby but was left paraplegic after fracturing two vertebrae in a tackle.
In a fortnight when the spinal injury to Alex McKinnon of the Newcastle Knights rugby league side has taken up a large amount of media attention the story is very topical in Australia & NZ.
Seti’s story is one of hope, courage & faith in the face of his trauma. He is known for his ever present smile – “a smile is better than a frown” were his words in answer to the question why he smiled all the time.
His father said that Seti had received so much love & support from friends, family & the sporting community the only response could be “to never give up” and Seti has ambitions to at least referee – if not play again – but whether he will or not doesn’t matter as already being able to walk with crutches is against what doctors had predicted.
Seti’s own words about his faith are revealing when he said “God had me” and “God has the last say – he is the Doctor of all Doctors”
I saw an anonymous quote in an sports chaplaincy email this week that said in reference to ‘peace’ that says “There may be those on earth who dress better or eat better, but those who enjoy the peace of God sleep better”.
I think Seti Tafua understands that very well. You can see his story here.
Many sportsmen participate in their passion knowing major injury – even worse – is not far away and we pray that Alex McKinnon might find the kind of hope, courage & faith in the face of his trauma that Seti did.