Australian chef, who was on holiday in Cape Town, seriously injured after diving into Kleinmond river

2019-05-10 17:27
Gareth Flanagan and Leisha Gallucio (Instagram)

Gareth Flanagan and Leisha Gallucio (Instagram)

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Funds are being raised to help an Australian chef who seriously injured himself while on holiday in the seaside town of Kleinmond, about 100km east of Cape Town.

Gareth Flanagan, 21, had been swimming with his fiancée, Leisha Galluccio, at the Palmiet River bridge on April 25 when tragedy struck.

"[He] suffered a spinal chord fracture after diving into the river and striking rocks under water," said the National Sea Rescue Institute's (NRSI) Kleinmond commander Schalk Boonzaaier.

He was rushed to hospital and is still receiving medical treatment.

According to a campaign page which aims to raise funds for his rehabilitation, Flanagan told his dad, after being dragged from the water, that he was unable to feel his legs.

Gallucio told Australian news outlet nine.com.au that doctors had told them that he had broken his neck and had a "slim to no chance of walking" again.

The campaign had almost reached its $15 000 goal by Friday afternoon.

In an update posted on Friday, it stated that Flanagan was doing well and alternating every hour between his own breathing and assistance from a ventilator.

"They are hoping to take the tracky out in a few days and then we will be moving hospitals closer to family for us and start a bit of rehab, just so he is wheelchair ready for the plane, and then finish his rehab in Australia," the page stated.

In a message on Facebook, Flanagan's family thanked everyone for their support and said he was slowly improving.

His father stated in a message: "To our Remarkable Gareth your amazing courage and determination has taught us a life lesson that I will try follow for ever. Your family loves you."

(Supplied)

Gareth Flanagan in hospital (Supplied)

Read more on:    cape town  |  accidents
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