Footy star whose wife died in a devastating car accident in which the young daughter of the couple was left behind, reveals how he could turn his life around from the depths of despair
- Former Hawke & # 39; s Bay star Chris Eaton lost his wife in a car accident in March 2013
- Hannah died just a few hours before he had to make his big debut in Sydney
- Eaton withdrew from rugby to look after their four-year-old daughter Layla in NZ
A professional rugby union player began his intense fight to recover after his wife was killed in a car accident – leaving the couple's young daughter behind.
Chris Eaton, 35, was preparing for a competition with the Western Force in Sydney in 2013 when he received the tragic news.
His wife Hannah (25) drove to her parents' house in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand – where their four-year-old daughter Layla was staying for Easter – when she fell asleep at the wheel.
Her vehicle collided head-on with a four-wheel drive and immediately killed her.
Mrs. Eaton, who had just graduated with a bachelor's degree in obstetrics and was about to start a new job, died just a few hours before her husband entered the field.
Rugby Union star Chris Eaton is pictured with his late wife Hannah and their daughter Layla. Hannah, 25, died in 2013 in a car accident on a New Zealand highway.
Eaton is depicted with his daughter Layla and new wife Yahna, whom he married in August
Eaton said he struggled to move on without his wife, but his desire to support his daughter Layla kept him motivated despite his heartache.
& # 39; It became my most important driver. No matter how much it was for her, it was what I needed to get out of bed if you know what I mean? Because I had her, it kept me going, & he told the New Zealand Herald.
Eaton tried to keep the promise he had made to Layla at his wife's funeral.
& # 39; I'll always be the father Barbies will play with you, honey; I will brush your hair and take you to ballet. I'm also taking you to rugby, & he said during service.
Eaton was so devastated by the death of his wife that he stopped playing rugby.
& # 39; I just remember that I had so much to do. You try to make sure that you function somewhat, although I may not have slept for three or four days. I don't think I ate during that time. I was just solving it, & he said.
& # 39; When all those things came to an end, mentally things start to hit the fan a bit. There are so many people around you and everyone is willing to help and eventually life becomes normal for everyone again and you stay at home alone. That is the moment when the really difficult event begins. & # 39;
The turning point in his life came when he participated in a Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournament and performed well.
The martial arts competition sparked him, which led to his return to the sport he loved most.
Eaton said he started playing the best rugby in a long time, because he didn't care about the results.
Sport became an escape from his grief.
Eaton met Yahna (photo) a year after the death of his wife. He married her in New Zealand in August
He met Yahna a year after the death of his wife and the couple later married.
Eaton said he initially wanted to keep Yahna – whom he married in New Zealand in August – and wanted to break up Layla because he wanted to be absolutely sure of his dedication to another woman before introducing her to his daughter.
He now lives in Russia and plays for the local club RC Kuban.
Eaton said he initially wanted to keep Yahna and Layla separated because he wanted to be absolutely sure of his dedication to another woman before introducing her to his daughter
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