Slovenia: Matic Pirnat Rehab Support Fund

Photo: Metka Komatar

Matic Pirnat is one of the most active members of American football in Slovenia - from playing to coaching. Recently, he has suffered a serious injury, and rehab is no joke! Especially on the funds side.

We're sharing his story in full, as well as the donation link.


Dear Friends and Football Fans!

I'm starting this campaign to help raise funds for my long recovery after a severe knee injury I sustained playing football. I've worked rigorously for the past seven months to get myself back on my feet, but unfortunately, the road to full recovery will be much longer. Any help will be greatly appreciated and will help me get 100 % healthy sooner.

Back Story – love for football

I have been involved with football since I was 16 years old. I've played in Slovenia and Austria and transitioned to coaching when I was done actively playing. To be the best coach I could possibly be I visited the US and various football programs there four times in the past six years. Football is my passion. I love coaching it. I love playing it. I love watching it. It's a great tool to develop young men (and women). I know I would not be the same person I am today if it wasn't for football. I have been the head coach of a team Domžale Tigers for the past three years. We competed in Austrian Football League (second division). Due to the lack of players toward the end of the season, we felt it was the best for the team that I suit up and help the team on the field.

The injury

The injury happened on July 1st 2018 in Salzburg, Austria on our team's last game of the season just 34 seconds before the end of the game (we end up winning by 1 point!). Someone hit my left leg just as I had planted it and redirected. The hit dislocated my knee (bent it backward). I was taken with the ambulance to the ER where doctors immobilized my leg. I was sent back to Slovenia where I was hospitalized in the trauma center and had my surgery on July 5th. One of the doctors said he had not yet seen the knee so damaged and cut open during the surgery.
I've injured almost every structure in my knee. Tore my ACL, LCL, partial PCL and MCL. Tore lateral meniscus off the bone, had cartilage damage, compression fracture of the medial femur condyle, tore biceps femoris tendon, tore the popliteal muscle (and some more things I can't translate well). I have as well severely damaged my peroneal nerve and what we later discovered I also injured my sciatic nerve.

The photo of my knee about 2 weeks after the surgery:

The Rehab so far

I was in the hospital for two weeks and when I left I could only do 50 meters on crutches. I had to have a straight brace on for the first 3 months until the swelling went down enough and I could put some weight on my leg. I began with physical therapy shortly after I left the hospital. Since September my typical week consists of 5 days of therapy (MO & WED 6 hours, TUE & THU 1,5 hours, FRI 5 hours). On top of that, I do a lot of work on my own at home. First three months were extremely challenging for my family and my girlfriend because I needed assistance with almost every task I had to do (getting dressed, taking a shower, going to a PT ... etc.). I was finally able to leave my home without crutches for the first time a few days before Christmas (171 days after the injury)!
I made some progress every week and now (middle of January) the status of my leg is following: extension of the knee - full, flexion of the knee - about 110 degrees, I can put weight on it, but can not balance on injured leg alone, I still have complete drop foot (cannot lift my toes/foot at all) because of peroneal nerve damage, I have issues contracting a big part of hamstring due to sciatic nerve damage. I can walk without crutches for a maximum of 1 kilometer.

Why I need your help

Although in Slovenia healthcare is considered to be free, I can not get enough therapies through it and have to go to the private therapist at least a couple of days a week. My injury was so significant that I do not want to leave any doubt in my mind that I did everything I could do get back from it 100 % and hopefully regain full functionality. My family and I have already spent more than 5500 € on recovery alone. I had to buy a new car as well because I needed an automatic transmission due to the drop foot.

All of the money raised will go toward medical expenses and different therapies (hyperbaric chamber, cryotherapy, PT, movement therapy ... ). I will have to buy a dynamic brace for my drop foot while working to get the nerves firing again.

On top of spending all the money on rehab, I am still unable to work due to my condition, so I have a very limited income.

Thank you for reading my story! If you can help in any way it will be much appreciated. I promise I will work as hard and as long as possible to regain full functionality in my leg!

Much Love
Matic Pirnat

PS: If anyone had a similar injury or knows someone who had it, please, get in touch.

My Facebook profile:
My Instagram profile:
My mailing address:
Matic Pirnat
P.P. 21
1225 Lukovica

The video shows the first few steps without crutches I was able to do about 3 months after the injury.