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Family plea after Belfast man breaks back in Ibiza pool accident

By Cate McCurry

Published 31/08/2015

Sean Paul McCabe in hospital in Ibiza
Sean Paul McCabe in hospital in Ibiza
Sean Paul McCabe

The family of a 20-year-old Northern Ireland man who broke his back after jumping head first into the shallow end of a swimming pool while on holiday has appealed for help towards his soaring medical costs.

Sean Paul McCabe was "minutes away" from snapping his spinal cord after the horrific accident just two days into his holiday with friends on the party island Ibiza.

The plumber from west Belfast is now set to undergo major surgery to repair his broken spine in a San Antonio hospital after fears he could be left paralysed. His family have been keeping a bedside vigil, including his parents Edith and Gerard McCabe who travelled to the island on Thursday, the day after the incident.

Family members have set up a Go Fund Me internet appeal to help raise money towards medical costs as Sean Paul had no travel insurance. They have raised almost £800 of a £5,000 target in less than 24 hours.

His distraught sister Denise posted online: "My brother booked a last-minute holiday to Ibiza with his friends, his very first time away without his family. It all happened within two days and unfortunately Sean Paul didn't get any holiday insurance. He dived into the pool on Wednesday last week and he broke his back in two places.

"He had an emergency operation on Thursday last week, as his spinal cord was minutes away from snapping.

"He is still in intensive care where he has to go under another major surgery where he has to get metal rods bolted into his spine. We're hopeful he will recover.

"We ask for any help you can give us with fundraising for our family to be able to stay by his side while he goes through this as he is going to be in hospital for a long time. As he didn't have insurance it would cost £20,000 to bring him home, which is impossible.

"The only other option we have is to stay here which is expensive also. Any help use can give us through this tragic time will be very much appreciated."

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