The family of a fitness fanatic left paralysed after he fell off his bicycle say they are “overwhelmed” by generous wellwishers who donated £30,000 to help him walk again.
Ki New, 20, is unable to move from the chest down after breaking his neck and spine in a horrific cycling accident on July 22.
The roofer, from Fairford, Glos., had been riding with friends in the Cotswolds when he was forced to brake suddenly and flew over the handlebars.
He landed on his head and broke his neck before flipping over onto his back and smashing his spine and five ribs.
Despite a six-hour long surgery when he arrived at the hospital, doctors warned he was unlikely to walk again due to the damage to his spinal cord – but the family hope with specialist private physiotherapy he stands a chance.
Older sister Elisha, 22, set up a fundraising page in a bid to raise £50,000 to cover the costs of the intensive physiotherapy.
Incredibly, just weeks after launching the appeal, wellwishers have pledged more than £30,000.
Elisha said: “He’s been told he’s unlikely to walk again.
“But the support we’ve had pushes and motivates Ki to keep fighting through the hard days.
“Not knowing how much to ask for, we put £20,000 and we smashed that in 72 hours.
“We couldn’t believe the response, it was incredible and shows what a great person Ki is and how much support Ki has and our family has, we couldn’t be more grateful.
“Ki wanted to die after the accident. He’s a roofer, which relies on strength and being active and when he finishes work he goes to the gym, I don’t know anyone more active than my brother.
“It’s so hard to tell people the severity of it. Because he’s paralysed from the chest down, and can’t feel his stomach, just to cough now he has to give himself the Heimlich manoeuvre.”
Ki was fit and active and would go to the gym up to five times a week, before he was victim to the freak accident.
After he found himself unable to feel his legs, Ki’s friends called an ambulance and Ki was rushed to John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
Ki’s mother said: “Getting that phone call and hearing Ki couldn’t feel his legs was the worst news we could ever have imagined.
“It has been the worst time of our lives while Ki has been in hospital and hearing the doctors say he probably won’t walk again.
“But there is a chance with this private physiotherapy – and we are overwhelmed by the response to the fundraiser which will give him a shot.
“It has been so difficult for Ki but he is a lot more positive now – he is ready to fight to walk again despite what the doctors have said.
“I truly believe if anyone can do it, it’s Ki.
“He is confident and experienced on a bicycle and a motorbike so it was something we never expected, but a freak accident can happen to anyone.”
The family learned Ki had broken his neck, broken and dislocated his back, and also had a punctured lung and five fractured ribs.
After a six-hour operation on his spine the following day, Ki has remained at the hospital ever since, until he is strong enough to be transferred to an NHS spinal unit in Salisbury, Wilts.
Despite doctors warnings that he will likely never regain feeling in his legs, the family hope that intensive physiotherapy and hydrotherapy may help him eventually walk again.
After learning NHS physiotherapy would not be intensive enough on its own, Ki’s older sister Elisha started a Go Fund Me page to try to raise funds to go privately after his course of NHS physiotherapy elapses.
To the family’s complete shock, donations quickly began rolling in – from family, friends and total strangers alike – in a bid to get Ki back on his feet.
Ki’s mum added: “When the money started coming in, Ki was so overwhelmed by the response – we all are.”
With donations now exceeding £30,000, the grateful family say they have every faith Ki will prove doctors wrong and get back on his feet thanks to the support of kind donators.
She added: “What we are going through is something I never imagined we’d have to face – it is truly a family’s worst nightmare.
“But we are all feeling more positive now, including Ki, after seeing the support people have shown.
“He just wants to fight it all the way, beat the odds, and walk again.
“But we have confidence he will do it – it won’t be easy, but if anyone can do it, it’s Ki.
“Whatever happens, we are so proud of him.”