A TWENTY-EIGHT-year-old British firefighter left paralysed by a freak fall while paddling in the sea just hours after arriving in Mallorca for his stag-do is determined to make it to his own wedding, his family have said.
James Thorpe arrived in Magaluf last week with a group of friends and went for a paddle in the sea only to lose his balance and fall, hitting his head on the seabed and breaking his neck and seven vertebrae.
Although doctors treating him have said he may never walk again, fiancée Michaela Watson, who immediately flew to Mallorca after his accident, said: “James is so excited about getting married that he’s using it as his drive to get better. His goal is to make it down the aisle and I can’t take that away from him. We’re doing all we can to get him home.”
James knew immediately that he had broken his neck thanks to trauma training he has received over the seven years he has worked for the fire brigade, his fiancée said, and gave instructions to his friends on what to do while they waited for help.
Now, after urgent surgery to replace badly damaged bone in his neck, the brave firefighter can only wait to see what permanent damage has been done while his family try to raise funds to get him home for specialist treatment.
“The doctors here have been fantastic but they can only help fix his broken neck and treat his pain. We need to get him to Sheffield Hospital where there is a dedicated team for this type of injury,” Michaela said.
Simon Burch, a fellow firefighter and friend, has set up a Just Giving page to raise money to help get James back to the UK.