Playing for the Bletchley women’s team earlier this year, prop Gracie Matthews dislocated her knee, severing blood vessels which meant that doctors had to amputate her leg just above the knee.
I became aware of Gracie’s plight in March when my son’s then Under 13 team played a friendly against their counterparts from Watford RFC who were raising money to aid Gracie’s cause.
What I wasn’t aware of, until recently, was that Gracie then applied to the RFU Injured Players Foundation – set up to assist catastrophically injured players – and that her application was turned down.
It seems that a leg amputation is not serious enough to warrant the support of the IPF whose focus, apparently, is directed only towards serious spine and head injuries.
It’s a decision that appears to be unbelievably harsh. While of course I appreciate that the IPF can’t fund every injury, I'd say a leg amputation is pretty damned catastrophic by anyone’s standards.
Let’s hope the IPF reconsider and that Gracie gets the support she needs.