Page last updated at 14:20 GMT, Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Paralysed diver injured in Colombia flown back to UK

Daniel Eley
Daniel Eley was working as a teacher in Colombia

A 32-year-old man from Surrey left paralysed from the neck down after a diving accident in a remote region of Colombia has been flown back to the UK.

Daniel Eley, from Godalming, is being treated in the spinal unit at Stoke Mandeville hospital in Buckinghamshire.

An appeal to raise £90,000 was begun to fly him back in an air ambulance - which was not covered by his insurance - after the accident on New Year's Day.

Mr Eley was working as a teacher in Colombia when the accident happened.

The cash was raised after thousands of people joined a Help Dan Facebook group, while a page on the Just Giving website also attracted hundreds of messages of support.

Supporters thanked

Mr Eley, who worked for the charity Casa Alianza UK in Guatemala from 2006 to 2007, fractured three vertebrae when he hit a submerged rock while diving in a river.

His employer's insurance covered general healthcare in the country but did not include the cost of flying him home.

In a message on his Facebook page on Wednesday, Mr Eley's mother Carolyn thanked "the thousands of people who sent love, contributions and best wishes".

"I looked back at the plane at Luton Airport and marvelled that it was paid for by all of you, most of whom have never met Dan," she added.

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