Newcastle centre Corne Uys has revealed the family tragedy that occured during the delay to his move to Kingston Park from Super 15 side Cheetahs.
Uys, 29, was waiting for his visa to arrive when his niece was killed in an incident on the family farm, with the delay allowing him time to grieve.
"I was fortunate to have two weeks with my family," Uys told BBC Look North.
"You can't prepare for something like that, there's nothing you can do but be there for them."
The three-quarter played his last game in Cheetahs' 23-20 defeat by Griquas in August, but arrives with a reputation as a skilful player in midfield.
However the Falcons side he links up with ahead of Sunday's visit of Wasps to Kingston Park is rooted to the bottom of the table and without a win in four Premiership games.
"I would like to believe I can help, I'm going to do my best, I can't promise magic and five tries, but I can promise I'll be giving 100%," Uys added.
"I hope I can bring bits and pieces of everything, I'm generally just a good team player.
"Hopefully I can step up to whatever will be needed from me in the game."
BBC Newcastle has full commentary of every Falcons game in the Aviva Premiership.