It 's not that there are sacred cows on the farm. Du Toit and his younger brother Johan - also a professional rugby player with the Western Province - one day found an old pair of their grandfather's boots and brought them to their father. Rather than placing them on a fireplace, Pieter Stephanus du Toit VI encouraged his boys to use them.
"They only lasted two sessions and are completely devastated, ”recalls Du Toit. “They were so heavy and went up to mid-calf. My dad could have been precious to them, but he wasn't. perspective for me. It told me that I can chase my dreams no matter what. And it 's funnythe to think now that I literally stepped in my grandfather's boots and become a Springbok as well. "
It was a little miracle that he faced Warren Gatland's Lions in the starting 15 on Saturday. Du Toit nearly lost his leg left after suffering a bruise in a series of tackles while playing for Stormers against Auckland Blues on February 29, 2020. Her situation quickly worsened as she progressed into a life-threatening illness known as of acute compartment syndrome, in which the blood supply to an area of the body is blocked due to muscle inflammation. for survival.
" I got the first hit around the 25th minute and my leg died, but a little ice on it helped, "Du Toit recalls." Then around the 50th minute I got it again. been hit, it was a shoulder inside my quad.After that I couldn't give 100% anymore and called the doc and told him something was wrong. But I wasn't worried until the end of the match when I stood up to shake hands and could tell something was wrong.
According to Stormers team doctor Jason Suter, "there have been only 43 cases [of the disease] listed " in academic literature. Highlighting Du Toit's misfortune, this was the second time he had experienced it, having suffered a similar injury in 2010 during his final year of high school.
Du Toit went straight to his local hospital. The numb sensation was quickly replaced by a wave of searing pain as he was taken to surgery where a 16 inch incision was made to relieve the low pressure. When he woke up through a medicated fog the next morning, Du Toit learnedthat the doctors were unable to close the gaping wound.
"They told me that all the muscle had exploded when they made the cut," explains- he offers to send photographic evidence, which I politely decline. "It's like when you shake a bottle of Coke and open the lid. You cannot close it immediately because everything is gushing out. "