College Sports

Cal rugby player from El Dorado Hills paralyzed during national championship match

Robert Paylor.
Robert Paylor. University of California

A rugby player from El Dorado Hills was paralyzed from the chest down during a national championship match Saturday between the University of California, Berkeley, and Arkansas State.

Robert Paylor, who graduated from Jesuit High School in Carmichael, was injured Saturday during the Bears’ win over Arkansas. The injury left him paralyzed below his chest, according to his family and a GoFundMe page established to help with his rehabilitation costs.

The 6-foot-5, 233-pound Paylor is shown smiling and in a neck brace on the crowd-funding website.

“Robert is a strong young man with incredible faith, a wonderful family and friends to help him recover,” the GoFundMe page says.

It adds that Paylor’s rehabilitation will be long and expensive: “Supporting Robert with whatever you can give and help relieve the financial burden would be greatly appreciated. With financial assistance, Robert and his family can focus on his rehab and getting healthy and strong.”

Paylor is a sophomore at UC Berkeley and plays the lock position on the team, according the rugby team’s online roster. Locks provide forward momentum during scrums and are usually some of the biggest players on a team.

Paylor’s family issued a statement, extending gratitude to the Cal rugby community, friends and others for prayer and support.

“We can’t find the words that express what that has meant to all of us in this very sad time in our lives,” the family said.

Paylor is working on stabilizing his condition so that he can begin rehabilitation, according to the family statement.

“The injury paralyzed his lower body with limited motion in his arms,” the statement continued. “This will be a long and difficult journey for Robert and his outcome is uncertain.

“But we know his faith and determination will get him as far as he can in regaining mobility.”

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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