Isle of Wight: Fundraiser for family of rugby player injured in Ryde

2 months ago 7

Luke Orton

Image caption,

Luke Orton broke his neck in July

Daisy Stephens & Allen Sinclair

BBC News

The family of a 26-year-old man who was paralysed in a rugby tournament are fundraising to make adaptations to their home.

Luke Orton broke his neck playing rugby on the beach at Ryde, Isle of Wight, on 22 July.

He has been in hospital ever since and it is hoped he will be ready to be discharged in the spring.

His parents are trying to raise £20,000 to adapt their home for their son's needs by the time he comes home.

Image source, Family handout

Image caption,

Mr Orton was a keen rugby player before his accident

Mr Orton "loved rugby" and "never missed a match", his mum Lesley Orton said.

But in July he "went in for a tackle" and was seriously injured.

"He said, obviously a few weeks later, 'I heard the neck break'," said Mrs Orton.

Mr Orton was airlifted to Southampton General Hospital and is now at the Spinal Injuries Unit at Salisbury District Hospital, working to recover as much movement as possible.

But Mrs Orton says he "won't walk again".

Image source, Family handout

Image caption,

Mr Orton said he heard his own neck break

His parents need to make a number of adaptations to their home in preparation for Mr Orton being discharged.

These include installing a platform lift, putting in ramps, moving his bedroom to the ground floor, widening the doorways and building a wet room.

The government offers grant for works like this but it is capped at £30,000.

Mr Orton's dad, Tony, said the work will cost more than that, with the lift alone costing about £12,000.

"The remainder of the works we will need to fund ourselves," he said.

They have launched a crowdfunding page and are also asking for donations for materials and help carrying out the work.

Image caption,

Luke's parents said they were "trying their best" to help him recover

In the meantime they said they were trying their best to keep him "upbeat" and help him recover.

"He needs us," said Mrs Orton.

"We just want him to come home."

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