18 Jul 2015

Strawbridge out of ICU, stable

5:03 am on 18 July 2015

Some good news for Chiefs assistant coach Andrew Strawbridge as he tries to battle back to health following his brush with death in Samoa.

Chiefs assistant coach Andrew Strawbridge

Chiefs assistant coach Andrew Strawbridge Photo: Photosport

Strawbridge is now in a stable condition at Waikato Hospital and has been moved out of intensive care and onto a ward.

On Thursday, Strawbridge awoke and watched a video message sent to him by the Manu Samoa team.

Screengrab from a get well video message Manu Samoa sent to Andrew Strawbridge

The Manu Samoan team sent a video message to 'Straws' Photo: Twitter

The Manu Samoan team, who are currently in San Jose on tour, sent a special video for Strawbridge.

"Talofa Straws," the team said, "Get well soon."

They signed off, "From your Manu Samoa family".

On Thursday, Strawbridge asked his wife Laura to send a text message to Dr Dave Galler in Samoa, thanking him and his team for saving him and helping him get home alive.

Strawbridge, who also works for the Samoan team as a technical advisor, became seriously ill on a flight from New Zealand to Apia last week.

He was admitted to an Apia hospital with an infection in his right eye but when his condition "deteriorated rapidly" he was airlifted home to New Zealand.

(L to R) Chiefs coaches Wayne Smith, Andrew Strawbridge, Tom Coventry and Dave Rennie

(L to R) Chiefs coaches Wayne Smith, Andrew Strawbridge, Tom Coventry and Dave Rennie Photo: Photosport

The 50-year-old arrived back in New Zealand in an air ambulance last Friday and was taken to Waikato Hospital in Hamilton, where he had been listed as critical but stable until Thursday, when he woke up and began talking to his family.

"The family are thrilled at Andrew's progress and thank the incredible medical staff at the Waikato Hospital Intensive Care Unit," the team said in a statement.

Strawbridge started to make signals to his family on Wednesday, though he was still sedated. He had flown to Samoa to help the team prepare to host New Zealand in a one-off Test last Wednesday, which the All Blacks won 25-16.

Nearly $22,000 has been raised for the appeal to provide medical equipment for the Moto'otua National Hospital Intenisve Care Unit, that was started by the Strawbridge family on Monday.

The money raised will go towards medical equipment for the Moto'otua ICU including, a computer, syringe pumps, echo machine, airway equipment, ICU dialysis machine, a vital signs transport monitor and a portable oximeter.

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