Young Man Faces Paralysis Post-Diving Accident, Struggles with Healthcare Challenges

In a heart-wrenching incident in Etchingham, East Sussex, a 20-year-old university student suffered a catastrophic spinal injury after diving into a swimming pool. Tom, a second-year business studies student at Durham University, was attending a gathering on a sunny June 13, 2020, when tragedy struck.

Quick actions from his friends who pulled him out of the water saved his life initially. Despite their efforts and his physical fitness, Tom’s neck was broken, causing a compression injury. Fractures to his C4 and C5 vertebrae and a smaller break at C1 resulted in paralysis.

Rushed to King’s College Hospital in London by air ambulance, Tom was placed in intensive care. Early signs were hopeful as he regained some arm and hand movement. However, an adverse reaction to anesthesia during tracheostomy surgery led to rhabdomyolysis, a severe condition where muscle breakdown causes kidney failure.

While Tom battled for his life, his parents faced substantial obstacles, confronting rigid COVID-19 protocols and struggling to obtain the necessary care for their son. Their perseverance enabled Tom to receive limited rehab but failed to garner the continuous support he required.

Physiotherapy was minimal, and no occupational or psychological therapy was provided. Even after being released to a rehab facility in Stoke Mandeville, the lack of specialized care was glaring.

Source: The Telegraph

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