Sharks player Andrew Fifita has spoken about the season-ending injury he suffered earlier this year and how he thought he was going to die, even texting his wife a goodbye message.
The long-time Sharks prop suffered a laryngeal fracture during the second half of the Sharks match against Newcastle on Sunday, August 15.
A distressed-looking Fifita could be seen getting medical treatment on the field before his condition worsened and he was taken to a Brisbane hospital..
The Sharks released a statement that evening confirming Fifita suffered an injury to his throat. In an update the following day, the Sharks said Fifita had suffered a laryngeal fracture and remained in an induced coma while awaiting surgery.
He later underwent surgery, followed by a stint recovering in intensive care.
He has since detailed his recovery on Instagram, posting recently: "Learn how to walk, gym - 30kg, Learn to Jog, Now Running. My journey has started and will be the toughest one yet."
Now, for the first time, he has spoken about his traumatic injury, telling 9News he thought he was going to die and even texted his wife from the back of an ambulance to say goodbye.
"I honestly didn't think I was going to make it [to hospital]," he said.
"I ended up writing a nice text to my missus telling her how much I love her ... and please show [the messages to the kids] when they are older."
He said a doctor had told him he had just one minute to live when they intervened, cutting his neck for what is believed to be a lifesaving tracheotomy to help him breathe.
He also revealed that during surgery doctors discovered they had cut an artery in his neck.
"They clipped an artery in my neck and I was bleeding into my lungs so I was drowning in my own blood," Fifita said.
He said a doctor told him he had come close to death four times before he eventually turned the corner after suffering pneumonia and a serious infection.
Fifita said he still suffered trauma related to the life-threatening injury.
"I am still not through it - the fear factor of it all," he said.
Fifita's wife, Nikki, and family, thanked their friends, fans and rugby league community for the support they had received after his injury.
The couple has since revealed they are expecting their fourth child.