A FAMILY has launched a heartbreaking £50,000 fundraiser plea for a dad who was left paralysed after an accident whilst he was taking a dip in the sea.
Dan Richards was at Langland Bay, Swansea on New Year’s Eve with partner Anna Thomas and his three-year-old daughter Hailey when he decided to go for a cold swim.
However, the experienced 35-year-old surfer realised something was wrong after diving into a wave as he felt the loss of mobility in his limbs – ultimately being pulled back to shore by family and friends.
After being airlifted to Bristol Southmead Hospital and given initial “lifesaving” treatment, Dan was later moved to Morriston Hospital in Cwmrhydyceirw, Swansea where he remains stable.
However, the family have devastatingly learned that Dan is now paralysed from the neck down and will need costly rehabilitation treatment totalling at around £50,000.
The heartbroken family has now taken to GoFundMe in the hopes of raising the five-figure target to fund the beloved dad’s treatment.
Partner Anna wrote in the fundraiser description: “Firstly, thank you for taking the time to visit our page. My name is Anna and I’m Dan’s partner.
“Some of you may have heard by now that Dan had a freak accident on New Year’s Eve at our beloved Langland Bay, while trying to end the year with a cold-water sea dip.
“The accident occurred when simply diving into a wave. Being a keen surfer, this is something he’s done hundreds of times before.
“Dan knew straight away something was wrong and luckily a wave turned him, so he was able to call for help.
“Then myself, our friend and my mum were able to pull him from the sea, realising he was not able to move his arms or legs.
“Dan was airlifted to Bristol Southmead Hospital straight off the beach, for lifesaving treatment.
“Thankfully, he’s now more stable and back closer to home in Morriston Hospital, where we are awaiting his transfer to a long-term rehabilitation facility.
“However, as a result of this accident, Dan has been left paralysed from the neck down, which we are all trying to come to terms with.
“The aim of this fundraising effort is to support Dan in this journey and give him the best quality of life possible, including helping him continue to be the best dad for his three-year-old daughter Hailey.
“The NHS rehab can only go so far, and we know this journey is going to be lifelong for Dan and the people closest to him.
“We don’t know what recovery will look like, but we are hopeful and it’s this hope along with Dan’s determination and positivity that’s keeping us all going.
“We have been made aware of a private rehabilitation provider in Bristol, who will be able to further his recovery post-NHS-rehab.
“As you can imagine, there will be significant costs that need to be covered; the rehab itself, travel and adaptations to enable Dan to access his own home eventually.
“Dan has always been a hard worker, priding himself on his strong values about helping others.
“The financial security he had worked so hard to get will not be possible for him to maintain.
“Any support that will help contribute to Dan’s ability to access the best rehabilitation to meet his needs and alleviate financial worries, helping Dan on this journey to a better quality of life will be hugely appreciated.
“Dan is loved by so many, and we all know how strong and independent he is, but this isn’t a journey he can go on alone.”
At the time of writing, the fundraiser has racked up over £27,500 in donations, with many expressing their support for the family.
Natasha Didenko wrote: “Sending you so much strength. Best of luck with your recovery, Dan. Look after yourselves and each other.”
Patrick Morgan said: “I feel sorry for the git. He’s a top bloke, good times in school and want him back in good health and back out doing what he loves.”
Jennifer Murphy commented: “So good to see you doing so well and with a big smile.”
Stephanie Alexander added: “I am so sorry to hear this, Anna, and I wish you and your Dan the best.
“I hope he is able to get the help he needs to achieve the best recovery possible. Sending you love and strength.”
Dan himself also issued an upbeat update on Monday, writing: “I’ve been legless more than a few times in my life, but this takes the biscuit.
“In all seriousness, thank to everyone that’s donated and shared. Your generosity and kindness has been overwhelming.”
To donate to the fundraiser, you can visit this link: https://gofund.me/56379919