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New Zealand rugby league great Olsen Filipaina (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hāmoa), who is in intensive care in Sydney with kidney failure, is showing signs of improvement, his whānau says.
The 64-year-old was admitted to hospital with a stomach infection on 13 January. However, while this infection improved after a few days, a kidney problem that he has had for many years worsened.
"Over the past few days, he's been up and down and as a result is now in ICU," his brother Alf Filipaina said Thursday.
This weekend, he shared an update saying Olsen is showing his 'fighting spirit'.
"You know that he is a fighter and that fighting spirit is coming through," Alf shared through a Facebook post Saturday, addressed to "all our family and friends".
"Olsen is still in ICU and we don't know how long he will be in there for, but he is showing signs of improvement.
"To help his kidney's, Olsen is receiving dialysis a few times a week and he is able to hear us but can't communicate."
The post ended with a few simple words of gratitude.
"To everyone, thank you for your love and prayers which is appreciated by the whole family."
A centre/five-eighth, Olsen, who is a Balmain Tigers legend, played 28 tests for the Kiwis between 1977 and 1986 and captained Western Samoa. His playing career also includes time at Eastern Suburbs Roosters and the North Sydney Bears.
"Sending you strength from all of us in the Bears community," the North Sydney Bears wrote Saturday on Facebook.