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Injured rugby player needs help

Dale Huhu (left) with his mother Dana Huhu after he graduated from UCOL with Carpentry Level 4 at Masterton’s town hall in March last year. PHOTO/FILE

BECKIE WILSON

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A Carterton man is hoping to get back on his feet after suffering a brain injury when he was hit by an out-of-control car in Sydney.

Dale Huhu, 21, who played for Carterton Rugby Club reserves team and is a former Wairarapa youth councillor, was walking down the footpath in the Sydney suburb of Narwee on July 13 when the incident happened.

A man drove his car onto the footpath, knocking over a metal sign that hit Mr Huhu in the head before the car also struck him.

Paramedics treated him at the scene, and then took him to St George Hospital for surgery to remove blood clots in his skull.

Now, he can’t get approval to fly home to New Zealand with his injury, and in Australia he’s not entitled to a benefit, and can’t work.

CAPTION: Dana Huhu flew straight to Sydney after she heard her son’s injury. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Work and Income has told his mother, Dana Huhu, that until he sets foot on New Zealand soil they can’t help him.

When Mr Huhu spoke to the Times-Age yesterday he said he was still having bad moments during his recovery.

The accident has left the side of his face swollen, limited vision out his left eye and with no taste or smell.

When he woke from being hit he said it was “just sore and [I] felt like in another world to be honest”.

Mr Huhu has heard “no word” from the driver of the car.

“He doesn’t care,” he said.

While he can’t work or care for himself, Mr Huhu hopes his mum, nana and papa can fly over and help him during his recovery.

Mick Campbell was the manager of the Carterton rugby team where Mr Huhu played for a couple of years.

Mr Campbell said he spoke to Mr Huhu via Facebook on Wednesday to see how he was.

“Sounds like he is doing well but just has a long road ahead of him,” Mr Campbell said.

Mr Huhu played for the team in 2014 and 2016, and Mr Campbell said he got on well with him and would occasionally have a beer together.

“He’s been around Wairarapa for quite a while… he has a great sense of humour,” Mr Campbell said.

He went through a “rough time” but had turned things around was a “really good kid with a good heart”, he said.

Mr Huhu moved to Australia for a lifestyle change about eight months ago, working as a labourer.

He had started a new sales job two weeks before the accident, but has been told he was unlikely to be back at work for at least five months.

The driver’s third-party insurance will eventually pay Mr Huhu’s soaring medical costs, and should cover any ongoing suffering related to the accident.

Mr Huhu is getting by with the support of his landlord, Sandra Mannell, who is making him meals and driving him to doctor appointments.

A Givealittle page has been made to help out Mr Huhu and his mother.

Mrs Huhu flew to Sydney to be with her only son after hearing the news. However, she cashed in all her savings, and has recently come back to Wairarapa.

“The money only held out for so long. I had to return home, it was so hard to leave my son in the condition he was still in but I had bills to pay,” she said.

The page has already raised over $10,000. To donate go to givealittle.co.nz/cause/needsupportformyson

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