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Frome man’s quest for rehabilitation following holiday accident

Josh Gover with family in hospital

A YOUNG man from Frome has been left paralysed after a trip to the beach where he dived into shallow water crushing his neck and back.
But Josh Payne-Gover is staying positive and is setting his sights on gold and becoming a paralympic athlete. He hopes that his story can inspire others to show just what is possible.
Whilst on a trip to the beach with his friends, Josh, 25, dived into shallow water. As he landed, the impact crushed his neck and back, severely damaging his C7 vertebrae and spinal cord.
Before the accident, Josh was a keen sportsman enjoying football, mountain-biking and skiing. Following the accident, he was receiving physiotherapy at the Royal United Hospital in Bath after spending three weeks in intensive care at Southampton Hospital, but now has been moved to Odstock Hospital in Salisbury in a spinal unit to continue his treatment.
Josh’s family has set up a JustGiving page to raise money for rehabilitation to help Josh regain the movement in his hands and legs, along with future costs including treatment, mobility aids and possibly moving to a new home and adapting it for wheelchair accessibility.
Zac Alsop, Josh’s cousin, who was with him on the day of his accident said, “As he lay there, face down in the water he attempted to swim, which is when we knew something was badly wrong.
“One of his friends heroically saved him from drowning that day, however that is when the extent of his injuries came to light. As he lay there, unable to move his legs it soon became obvious how lucky he was to still be breathing.
“He was quickly airlifted to Southampton Hospital where he was assessed by professionals who sadly informed Josh that he may never walk again.
“I hope Josh’s story will remind people to stay safe this summer and warn others of the dangers of diving into shallow water.”
On the JustGiving page, Josh’s mum, Michele Payne-Gover said, “Three weeks after the accident, we are all still adjusting to the news that our son’s life has tragically changed overnight.
“As a parent, you always wish the best for the future of your child; parenthood is filled with unexpected surprises and challenges, but this is one which you never dream of facing.
“That being said, Josh is incredibly positive and has kept his cheeky sense of humour, which has been pulling us all through. He remains hopeful for his future.”
On Facebook, Josh said, “Thanks to all my friends and family for the continued support, it’s been overwhelming. Now to focus on my rehab and try my hardest to get as much mobility back in my body as I can. I feel like I’m making progress every day and I won’t be giving up until I’ve reached my full potential!”
If you are able to help Josh and his family, visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ron-gover.
Picture: Josh Payne-Gover after his accident.
Picture: Josh being rescued at the beach after his accident.
Both photos taken from JustGiving page.

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