Footballer, 20, paralysed from neck down after tripping on underwater rock in sea

Footballer, 20, paralysed from neck down after tripping on underwater rock in sea

Callum Jones, 20, was with some friends when he ran into the sea and broke his neck after tripping on an underwater rock. The incident happened at Freshwater East beach, Pembrokeshire

A young footballer and cricketer has been left paralysed from the neck down after an accident on a Welsh beach.

Callum Jones, 20, was with some friends when he ran into the sea and broke his neck after tripping on an underwater rock.

The accident happened at Freshwater East beach, Pembrokeshire, after a cricket training session on July 22, Wales Online reports.

Callum was taken to Glangwili Hospital where a scan showed a fractured C5 vertebrae in his neck.

Later, he was airlifted to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff where he remains in a serious condition.

Callum underwent an eight-hour operation in UHW, but during the accident his spinal cord was damaged and was left unable to move from the neck down.

Tomorrow he will have a tracheotomy, family friend Katie Jones said.

Callum, from Pennar in Pembroke Dock, is an accomplished sportsman playing football for Pennar Robins and cricket for Pembroke Dock.

Katie said his mum Joanna, dad Dean and partner Pheobe are devastated at the prospect of Callum never being able to return his beloved sport.

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.”

The young sportsman is now in an induced coma in hospital while the spinal and respiratory teams try to improve his condition.

His family can only see him twice a week – and he is now using blinking to communicate with his relatives and doctors.

Katie said Callum is the eldest of four children and the accident has left his family devastated.

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 returns home.

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