A 20-year-old man has been paralyzed from neck to toe after a freak accident on a Welsh beach.
Callum Jones tripped over an underwater boulder as he threw himself into the sea in Freshwater East, Pembrokeshire, and broke his neck after landing awkwardly.
The avid cricketer and footballer has undergone a grueling eight-hour operation to reconstruct the fractured bone in his spine, but his family say a miracle is needed if he is to walk again.
Callum was first taken to Glangwili Hospital where a CT scan showed a fractured C5 vertebra in his neck, then he was airlifted to University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff where his condition is serious .
Family friend Katie Jones said her mother Joanna, father Dean and partner Pheobe were devastated that Callum could ever return to his beloved sport.
From Pennar to Pembroke Dock, Callum is an accomplished sportsman who plays football for Pennar Robins and cricket for Pembroke Dock.
The freak accident happened after a cricket training session with the youngsters on Freshwater East on Thursday 22 July. As he ran into the water after training, Callum apparently tripped.
Katie said: “The boys noticed he was lying face down in the water and floating around, and not responding.
“One of the younger boys walked over and turned him around and Callum said ‘help me’. He had broken his neck on an underwater rock and couldn’t move.”
Callum had a section of his hip bone removed during the eight-hour operation at UHW to rebuild his damaged vertebrae, but the accident damaged his spinal cord and he has no movement from the neck down. He’s due to have a tracheostomy on Friday and after that, “that’s it,” Katie said.
He is now in a medically induced coma at the University of Wales Hospital in Cardiff as spinal and respiratory teams attempt to improve his condition. He uses eye blinking to communicate with doctors and his family, who can only see him twice a week.
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The oldest of four, Callum was the family’s “golden boy”, said Katie, who lives in Kilgetty.
“They are such a close family and they are devastated, like everyone who knows Callum,” she said.
“Her life changed in the blink of an eye. We are praying for a miracle. They will need all the help they can get in the future.”
Single mom Joanna is especially concerned about the future and how to tailor her life to Callum’s needs once he gets home.
Katie has organized a fundraiser for the family, which has so far exceeded £ 7,000. To help raise funds, visit https://uk.gofundme.com/f/a-little-help-for-callum-jones.
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