A 24-year-old man has thanked the people of Scarborough for their “overwhelming support” in helping him get home after falling 70ft from a balcony on holiday.
Majorcan doctors told Sean Kelly he was “lucky to be alive” after suffering a broken rib, two neck fractures, two fractures to his skull, a fractured pelvis, a cut to his head and a dislocated thumb as a result of the accident.
After coming out of an induced coma in Palma hospital’s intensive care unit, Mr Kelly and his family not only had to deal with the shock of what happened, but were left facing a £12,000 bill to fly him home in an air ambulance.
However family and friends rallied round back home in Scarborough and raised the entire cost of the flight.
Mr Kelly said: “I was just overwhelmed by what everyone was doing for me.
“I was in intensive care for five days and when I woke up I had no idea what had happened. I just saw my dad and my girlfriend Nadine, I didn’t know why they were there .
“My dad explained everything and I was gutted. Everyone was a wreck and I felt bad that I had caused them so much worry.
“Everyone in hospital kept telling me I was lucky to be alive. And not just to be alive but not to have lost the use of my limbs. I was very close to being paralysed from the neck down.
“Getting all these messages of support from people back home really kept my spirits up, and kept my family’s spirits up too.”
Mr Kelly, who works at Plaxton, had been on holiday with friends as part of a stag do to Magaluf.
The tragedy struck on the first night of the holiday when Mr Kelly returned to his room in the early hours of the morning.
Being the last to return he found himself locked out and after several attempts banging the door, and admittedly against his better judgement, he tried jumping from his friend’s bathroom window, which overlooked his balcony on the 7th floor.
Local fire services had to be called to rescue him after the false roof of a shop below broke his fall.
News of the accident soon spread, and upon hearing of the funds needed to get him home several fundraisers were organised. A collection was held at Plaxton, as well as a non-uniform day at St Augustine’s School, where Mr Kelly is a former pupil, while staff at the Byways public house in Crossgates held a fundraising evening with entertainment, and auction and a raffle.
Mr Kelly’s girlfriend Nadine, who he lives with along with her parents in Lingholm Crescent, said: “We couldn’t believe what had happened or that it had happened to us. We didn’t know how on earth we were going to get him home as he needed to fly back in an air ambulance and we didn’t know how we were going to afford it.
“When we heard what people at home were doing it was a huge weight off our mind. We thought whatever they make would be a big help towards the cost, we never imagined they would cover it completely.”
Mr Kelly flew back to the UK four weeks ago, after which he was immediately transferred to Scarborough Hospital to continue his recovery.
He is hoping to get his neck brace off this weekend, and is awaiting an operation on his thumb which he hopes will allow him to return to work.
The only permanent damage he has been left with is deafness in his right ear due to tinnitus.
Mr Kelly said: “I know I am lucky to be alive. It’s not lost on me.
“I just want to thank everyone who helped raise money for me. A special thanks to Chris and Noel O’Shea and Mark and Emma Ford for organising the fundraiser, to Debbie, Ian and Nadine for looking after me, and for my dad for being there when I woke up and helping me get through it.”