Chris battles on after holiday diving tragedy leaves him paralysed

RUGBY players from North Leamington School will raise money to help a former pupil who was paralysed in a tragic holiday accident.

Chris Haynes, 23, was with friends in Magaluf, Majorca, in June when he broke his neck by diving from the beach into the sea and hitting a sandbank.

The Bubbenhall villager will have to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life and is currently undergoing a residential rehabilitation programme at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

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Chris’s father Steve said: “It was a tragic accident which happened to him while he was doing something we have all done in some way and not realised the dangers we are undertaking.

“If it hadn’t been for his friend, Luke Cobb, Christopher would’ve drowned - Luke also rescued him in a way which prevented further damage and we are indebted to him.”

Mr Haynes said his son, who worked as a bar manager at The Oak pub in Baginton, will still live a fantastic life and that he has been undertaking rehabilitation activities with a smile on his face.

He added: “There are moments where he regrets diving in the sea but there is nothing he can do to change it.

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“He has to move on and learn to live life differently to the way he did before he went to Magaluf.”

After the accident Chris spent two weeks in a Spanish hospital before he was flown to University Hospital Coventry for further treatment.

The airlift cost his parents £12,500 and they were only able to claim the money back through compensation and a ‘humanitarian gesture’ from the company which issued Chris’s travel insurance policy.

But the insurers have refused to make any other payments on grounds he had alcohol in his blood during the accident, which took place on a morning after he had been on a night out.

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Mr Haynes said: “We want to give people a heads-up that there can be a clause in a policy where if there is alcohol in a person’s blood stream it is against the terms.

“People need to be careful, there are dangers out there and you may not have the level of cover you think you have got.”

Chris played for North Leamington’s sixth form rugby team when he was at the school.

Current players along with staff will take on a North Leamington Old Boys side at Leamington Rugby Club on Wednesday December 14 from 7pm.

Proceeds from the match will go towards equipment to improve Chris’s life.

For tickets and information call 07894 816431.

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