Ruth is the human interest reporter and a photographer for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Injured Tauranga student on road to recovery

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RECOVERY: Louis Grindrod with his mother Alicia.PHOTO/SUPPLIED
RECOVERY: Louis Grindrod with his mother Alicia.PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Tauranga Boys' College student Louis Grindrod has taken his first steps since suffering a serious neck injury playing rugby.

The 16-year-old was tackled during a game in Napier just over two weeks ago.

He had picked up the rugby ball, run from the back of a scrum, was tackled and fell on his shoulder and neck five minutes into the secondary school second XV match.

Louis's father Peter Grindrod said his son had been moved from Middlemore Hospital to the Otara Spinal Rehab Unit late last week and had made his first steps after undergoing two bouts of surgery to correct his injuries.

Read more: School rugby match turns to 'hell' after serious neck injury

Louis' second operation was to fuse the C4 and C5 vertebrae in his neck, which also meant doctors were able to take the halo off his head.

Mr Grindrod said his son was doing amazingly under the circumstances.

"With the aid of a walker, he is able to walk around now. He had his first steps about a week ago."

Mr Grindrod said the feeling on Louis' left side had come back, although it was still much weaker than his right.

Doctors had told the family Louis would need intense rehabilitation over the next four to six weeks before he could be moved back home to Tauranga.

Mr Grindrod said many of Louis' friends had made the trip to Auckland to visit him.

"The support in Tauranga has been amazing, that has been a huge help. It has helped us to see the light at the end of the tunnel."

Mr Grindrod said doctors were hopeful of a full recovery.

"It might take up to 12 months, but to get back to day to day living hopefully a couple of months. Getting his full range of movement back, plus his balance will just take time."

Things could definitely worse, he said.

"We are sitting here in the spinal unit and there are people a lot worse off than Louis is and we are thankful each day for that."

To help Louis in his road to recovery please head to his Givealittle page, to donate and see his progress. https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/louisgrindrod2016

- Bay of Plenty Times

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