THE family of a Belfast man who broke his back in a swimming pool accident in Ibiza are appealing for help in funding his expensive treatment.
Sean Paul McCabe, 20, was just two days into a holiday with friends on the Spanish island when he dived head first into the shallow end of a swimming pool, almost snapping his spinal chord.
The young man's family – who fear that Mr McCabe could be left paralysed - now face the prospect of soaring medical costs, as he had not taken out travel insurance for the last-minute holiday.
His sister Denise posted on an online fundraising page that it was Mr McCabe’s first holiday abroad without his family and appealed to generous donors for help raising money for his treatment.
"We ask for any help you can give us with fundraising for our family to be able to stay by his side while he goes through this as he is going to be in hospital for a long time. As he didn't have insurance it would cost £20,000 to bring him home, which is impossible,” she said.
"The only other option we have is to stay here which is expensive also. Any help you can give us through this tragic time will be very much appreciated."
So far, £4,506 has been raised, almost reaching the £5,000 target, less than 24 hours since the online fundraising page had been launched.
Mr McCabe, a plumber, had an emergency operation at a hospital in San Antonio the day after the incident, as his spine was “minutes from snapping.”
He remains in intensive care and will need to undergo further surgery to get metal rods bolted into his spine.
“We're hopeful he will recover,” his sister added.
Mr McCabe’s parents Edith and Gerard McCabe travelled to the island on Thursday to keep a bedside vigil for their son.