A 32-year-old English man, left paralyzed by a diving accident in Colombia, arrived back in the UK on Tuesday following a Facebook campaign to raise the funds to fly him home.
Daniel Eley fractured three vertebrae when he hit a submerged rock while diving in a river in southern Colombia on New Year’s Day.
Paralyzed from the neck down, Eley had to stay in the intensive care unit of a Bogota hospital because his employer’s insurance did not include the cost of flying him home.
Friends created a Help Dan Facebook page to raise the £90,000 ($145,000) needed to fly him back to the UK in an air ambulance.
After arriving in the UK, the teacher was taken to the spinal unit at a hospital in Buckinghamshire, where he will be assessed before embarking on a specialist rehabilitation program.
Eley had worked in Latin America for several years, most recently on an 18-month volunteer project in Guatemala, and had planned to begin a teaching job in Cali in the new year.
Eley’s mother Carolyn thanked “the thousands of people who sent love, contributions and best wishes” on the Help Dan Facebook page on Wednesday.