A Sydney teenager who had his promising rugby career cut short and may never walk again has been inundated with messages of support from many of Australia’s biggest stars.
Alex Noble’s life changed forever on October 21 when a tackle went horribly wrong during training with the under-17 New South Wales Rugby Sevens youth selection squad.
The Saint Ignatius’ College student, 16, broke his neck and damaged his spinal cord, which required six hours of surgery.
Alex Noble (pictured) is still smiling, despite the tragic training accident that left him paralysed
Six weeks on, Alex can now breathe unaided but remains paralysed with no feeling in his arms or legs.
His family has launched a public campaign called ‘I fight, You fight’ about Alex’s heartbreaking but inspirational story, which has caught the attention of many Australian celebrities.
Actor Hugh Jackman, singer Delta Goodrem, former champion swimmer Leisel Jones, former cricketers Brett Lee and Michael Clarke, NRL stars Billy Slater, Cameron Smith, Robbie Smith and Mitchell Pearce are among the famous well-wishers who have sent heartwarming video messages of support to lift Alex’s spirits.
Saint Ignatius’ College student Alex (pictured) was a promising rugby player before the accident
‘Remember you are part of a massive community that loves you, that supports you. Lean on them – this is the time to ask for help and lean on people who really want to help,’ Jackman said.
‘I know this is a really hard time but keep your spirits high.’
Goodrem added: ‘We’re all behind you and we’re all thinking of you and sending so much love and healing energy every second. Hang in my friend and be strong.’
‘You are part of a massive community that loves you, that supports you. Lean on them – this is the time,’ Hugh Jackman said in a heartfelt video to Alex Noble
The teen can still vividly remember the traumatic accident.
‘I remember getting tackled, landing on my head, doing a front flip onto my head,’ Alex told 7 News.
‘I was lying and then I saw my arms and legs just lying on the floor and I was just shocked … didn’t really think about anything, [I was] just shocked.’
His father Glen described October 21 as the ‘toughest day of his life’.
Alex’s mum Kylie added: ‘It was shattering. And then you just stop and go, ‘What?!’. Like … ‘What’s happening?’ You hope it’s not real. But you know he’s amazing. He is amazing.
A GoFundMe page to support teenager Alex Noble (seated) has raised almost $200,000
Spurred on by the overwhelming support he’s received, Alex hopes to be part of a new university trial that uses electronic implants to stimulate the spinal cord, which has already given partial movement to three quadriplegics.
‘He is determined to walk again,’ his family posted on the I Fight You Fight Instagram page on Sunday night.
‘With the support of the community, hope and prayers, may be a reality one day.’
Glen Noble (pictured with Alex) said the day his son was badly injured during a rugby training session was the toughest day of his life
A GoFundMe page set up a month ago has so far raised more than $193,000 towards helping the Nobles provide and care for Alex long term.
‘Alex may never walk again, but we all hope and pray he will regain the use of his arms, hands and fingers,’ the page states.
‘He has such a positive outlook that we will do nothing BUT fight for Alex and do everything in our power to support him on his uphill battle, every single step of the way.’
Alex was allowed to briefly leave rehab a few days ago to celebrate his brother’s birthday
Alex Noble (pictured before the accident) still hopes walk again one day