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20 year old footballer left paralysed from neck down after incident

A 20 year old footballer has been left paralysed from the neck down following an incident which occurred in Pembrokeshire late July.

The keen sportsman, Callum Jones, who had also taken up cricketer, endured an accident on the Welsh beach of Freshwater East.

He was making the most of the summer sunshine with some friends, and decided to do what most people would do and run into the sea.

Callum and his partner Phoebe

Image Credit: Katie Jones

However it ended up with him getting a broken neck after tripping on an underwater rock following a cricket training session on the 22nd of July, Wales Online state.

Callum was rushed to Glangwili Hospital and a scan revealed how he had fractured C5 vertebrae in his neck.

This then meant that he had to be airlifted to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff where he reportedly remains in a serious condition.

Callum was operated on for eight-hours at the hospital, but during the accident his spinal cord also got damaged and was left unable to move from the neck down.

In the last few days, he had a tracheotomy, Katie Jones, a family friend, said.

Callum, who lives in Pennar, Pembroke Dock, has worked hard within various sports, and plays football for Pennar Robins and cricket for Pembroke Dock.

Katie revealed that his mum Joanna, dad Dean and partner Pheobe have been understandably left heartbroken at the thought of Callum never being able to return to his playing days.

Callum with his mum Joanna

(Image Credit: Media Wales)

Katie said: “The boys noticed he was laying face down in the water and floating, and not responding.

“One of the younger boys went over and turned him over and Callum said ‘help me’. He’d cracked his neck on an underwater rock and couldn’t move.”

He is now in an induced coma in hospital while the spinal and respiratory teams try to improve his condition as the days go on.

What is made even tougher for his family is that they can only visit him twice a week, and uses blinking to communicate with his relatives and doctors.

She explained: “They are such a close family and they are devastated, as is everyone who knows Callum.

“His life has changed in the blink of an eye. We are praying for a miracle. They are going to need all the help they can in the future.”

His mum Joanna is also worried about what the future will look like and what that will mean for the family’s finances once Callum can return home.

Katie decided to set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the family, and nearly £13,000 has been raised so far since the page’s creation on the 23rd of July.

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Katie wrote on the JustGiving page: “Hi my name is Katie I’m fundraising for a good friend who’s sons life changed dramatically last night, after cricket practise Callum along with the others ran down fresh beach.

“Callum tripped over a stone landing face down in the water his friends noticed he wasn’t moving so turned him over and realised something serious was wrong he was taken to hospital where a scan showed a fractured C5 vertebrae in his neck, he was then airlifted to the UHW in Cardiff where his condition is serious he’s undergone an 8 hour operation where the outcome is he’s paralized we are praying for a miracle but in the meantime his poor mother who has a family at home will have to drop stuff to Cardiff and won’t be allowed to see him due to Covid, this is expensive and normal people like us don’t expect to be in this situation therefore don’t have emergency cash.

“Callum’s recovery will be costly PLEASE PLEASE if it’s £1 help this local pennar family they are the 1st to help anyone of it covers fuel or a coffee it all helps it could be anyone of our children. Thank you for reading this.

“The beneficiary is Callum’s aunty Cheryl Hughes who many of you know is the best aunty these children could ask for she will entail all monies get

“Callum the best treatment and help.”

Twitter users reacted after seeing that the 20 year old footballer has been left paralysed from the neck down after the incident at the beach…

@radiotalia: heartbreaking how quickly life can change 🙁

@ashisnemo: Another tragic incident in the water. Water safety isn’t solely about preventing fatal drowning. Creating water competence involves learning about hazard and risk awareness as well as teaching the skills of safe entry.

@numoorepain: Such a sad life changing incident, a friend of mine, her son dived into a river, something he had done for years, and the last 6 months have been a horrendous journey back to mobility. Lucky man, his friend recognised his injury. So sad, but wishing all a recovery to life

@bamfsMUFC07: To think that this lad was just enjoying life on the beach to be in the situation he is in now. 💔💔

@EmmaDilemma1971: Stay strong and focused 💪 I’m sending hugs to you all.

@sianradyr: Heart breaking 💔

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