Zane Tetevano reflects on ‘scary episode’ after suffering a stroke

Zane Tetevano reflects on ‘scary episode’ after suffering a stroke

Leeds forward Zane Tetevano has described suffering a stroke last month as a “scary episode”.

The New Zealand international was rushed to hospital after collapsing during a Rhinos training session.

The 32-year-old was later diagnosed with a hole in his heart.

Tetevano told the club’s website: “I was the first one out on the field and I had a spring in my step, ready to crack on with my session.

“I was pretty much just in my warm-up period when I just started slurring my words. I missed about three plays within a drill – just basic drills – and I remember just speaking to a team-mate of mine, slurring my words.

“I just couldn’t feel my tongue, my mouth, and that’s when everything started kicking in. I was kicking the ground, standing up, having the medical staff there, then the ambulance came.

“It was a scary episode. You just don’t know what was going on until you get told you’ve had a stroke.

“I guess everyone knows I’m quite an active person, I like my training. It was a shock, a kind of unreal feeling like, ‘No, I can’t be in this position’. But I’ve come out on the right side.”

Tetevano has recovered well from the stroke but requires surgery to repair his heart problem. He is hopeful of returning to action before the end of the season.

He said: “It might sound a bit weird but, after having a stroke, I was kind of hoping that I had something wrong – a hole in your heart, ‘OK, let’s fix that thing and crack on with life’.

“At the same time I was actually nervous, thinking this can’t be, but again I was just like, ‘Good news, the quicker I get surgery done the better’.”

Tetevano has been cleared to resume non-impact aerobic training to maintain a level of fitness prior to his operation but he cannot yet play contact sport.

To help motivate himself, he is to run the Leeds 10k this Sunday to raise money for the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund.

He said: “I was just running around the canals and one of the coaches mentioned it. I was pretty keen to jump straight on it.

“It’s something that has a deep place in my heart. It’s a little thing that I can do from my episode to help raise funds for the young ones and families.”