When Mose Masoe shared video of himself walking unassisted after an horrific spinal injury in a pre-season Super League match last year, the rugby league world celebrated his achievement.
Tongan enforcer Ben Murdoch-Masila, England internationals Danny McGuire and Keith Senior, fans, journalists and his former NRL clubs, Sydney Roosters and Penrith, were among the tens of thousands to react to Masoe’s social media posts.
Yet the joy of those few unaided steps masked the reality of Masoe’s situation, with his partner and the mother of their three children, Carissa Crews, forced to become his full-time carer as he lives with severe bladder and bowel issues.
"She hasn’t got three kids now, she’s got four," Masoe said in an in-depth interview with Sky Sports. "She has to look after the kids and look after me.
"I know I am facing potentially a lifetime of struggle. I’ll never be normal again."
Mose’s fight: The road back for Masoe
The Mose Masoe Foundation has been established to assist Masoe, Carissa and their three young children - daughters Evie-Rose and Marlowe and baby son, Lui.
More than a year after his injury, taking a few steps on his own is all Masoe can manage and any brief activity leaves him shattered.
His C4/C5 incomplete spinal cord injury has left him a tetraplegic – one of the worst forms of paralysis - which means he has partial or total loss of use of all four limbs and torso. He has no sensation or dexterity in his hands.
The Rugby League Benevolent Fund and Rugby League Cares have provided financial support for Masoe and Hull KR continue to pay his contract, which expires in November – along with his UK visa.
Masoe and his family are then expected to return to Australia but the insurance policy for Super League players under which Masoe was covered is capped at GB£250,000, and he may not be eligible for the full amount.
"We got the answer back and we were quite shocked at the amount insurance will cover," Masoe said. "It's not going to be enough.
"To go and look for a full-time job after this year is quite daunting, because of the things I have to deal with - the bladder, the bowels, and the fatigue. I can’t go to the toilet like a normal person.
"You get infections and things like that if you don’t take care of your bladder and your bowel."
Hull KR coach Tony Smith, the former Illawarra and St George five-eighth, encouraged Masoe to speak up about his plight and Sky Sports UK shared the 31 year-old’s interview with NRL.com to spread awareness.
I know I am facing potentially a lifetime of struggle. I’ll never be normal again.Mose Masoe
"He pretty much said, 'people need to know' and it got me thinking about other spinal patients," Masoe said.
"I've been quite positive with my posts, I'm able to walk and do all these things, but we all struggle with the same things.
"Tony said that I've got to do it for them. I need to be more truthful and honest."
Super League fans will be able to purchase "virtual tickets" for matches across the Easter weekend as the code comes together in a huge fund-raising effort for Masoe.