THE family of a skydiver who was injured in Fiji say they will never be able to thank people enough for donating thousands of pounds to his recovery.
Ben Cornick, who was born in Neath and raised in Pentrechwyth, was doing a sky dive over the South Pacific island on Tuesday, when he lost control of his steering toggle, and collided with a parked van at 40mph.
His leg and arm were both badly injured and doctors told his family he needed to be transferred for urgent medical attention in New Zealand.
The family were warned he could lose his leg because of infection but they say they are now hopeful that risk has passed.
As soon as they were told his transfer to New Zealand would cost £20,000, they began working around the clock and took to social media to try raise the money.
People from across the globe heard about Ben’s plight and donated.
Ben, who has an 11-month-old son, has now had two operations.
The first was on his right leg, which was broken in three places, but Ben has also had a second operation on his arm which had the worse injuries. As well as breaking his arm, he had also shattered his elbow.
The planned six-hour operation on his arm actually lasted seven hours but his family and friends were relieved to hear both operations have now been completed and are now waiting to hear if they were successful.
After an anxious wait, his family have been told he is doing well, but is still in “excruciating” pain.
“He’s in absolute agony but we’re just hoping for the best,” said Ben’s cousin, Ricky Davies.
He said the family have been left speechless by the support and donations.
The sky dive community immediately rallied round to help meet the initial £20,000 target, but Ricky says friends, family and complete strangers who had heard about Ben’s accident also donated in their droves.
He said there have been thousands of donations and have brought the total to £30,000.
Ben still faces a long road to fitness, and is expected to be kept in hospital for at least three weeks before any return flight can be considered.
“The response has been phenomenal.
“We’ll never be able to say thank you enough, I must be saying it about 100 times a day,” said Ricky.