An Irish expat living in Australia was left paralysed from the chest down in a freak swimming pool accident that left him with catastrophic spinal cord injuries, according to reports.
Stefan Carroll, 28, moved to Brisbane from Tullow, Dublin, five years ago to work and live abroad in the sunny country.
He set up a life for himself there but his trip has been marred by tragedy and will now need “significant rehabilitation, medical treatment, and ongoing support,” a friend said.
Mr Carroll reportedly dived into a pool but smack his head on the bottom tiles, shattering his C6 vertebrae and breaking the C5 and C7 vertebrae, reports DailyMail.
Quick thinking friends rushed the tradesman to Princess Alexandra Hospital where he underwent two major surgeries within 24 hours to stabilise his neck and replace the C6 with a titanium cage.
Stefan was put on a ventilator and is “able to move his arms” but “not his hands or his fingers,” with no feeling from his chest down, his mother Clodagh Carroll Sibbald told The Nationalist.
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She said: “He’s off the ventilator now; he’s speaking and he’s eating and drinking … he’s able to move his arms but not his hands or his fingers, but he has no feeling from his chest down.
“They’ve told us he’ll possibly get the feeling back in his hands, but they’ve said no to anything else.”
His hospital expenses are being covered through an agreement between Australia and Ireland but he will not be eligible for any government assistance when he is discharged.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up by a friend to help his recovery with a $150,000 (£107,000) goal.
On the page, fundraisers wrote: “Stefan will require significant rehabilitation, medical treatment, mobility equipment, not to mention, ongoing care and support. It would be great to have the opportunity to explore alternative treatments and therapies available.
“Stefan is a fun loving, caring person who is always up for a laugh or to help out. We ask for this help in order to give Stefan the best future possible and provide him with his independence.”