Injured firefighter flown back to Britain after stag party accident


A King’s Lynn-based firefighter who was injured on his stag-do in Magaluf has now returned home to the UK.

James Thorpe, 28, who lives in Boston, has flown back home after he broke his neck and became paralysed on the Spanish island.

Tim Edwards, West Norfolk’s fire service district manager, said: “We are hoping and praying that the outcome isn’t as bad as we might have previously thought.”

Mr Edwards added that James was expected to atten d Sheffield Hospital’s spinal injuries unit upon his return with help from a fundraising page set up by friend and fellow firefighter Simon Burch.

The crowd-funding page was created with a target of £20,000 to go towards the costs of specialist rehabilitation and has now raised nearly £12,000 since it was set up a week ago.

Mr Burch said: “The support has been quite overwhelming. I wanted to make sure James gets the best care possible.”

The groom-to-be is due to be wed to fianc ée Michaela Watson, 32, next Friday at Grantham’s Belvoir Castle, and friends say that he is determined that it will not be cancelled.

Mr Edwards said: “James is an incredibly resilient guy, he’s going through this awful thing and his outlook has been very positive.”

Mr Burch said: “His wedding has been big drive. He is determined like you wouldn’t believe; he doesn’t want it to be cancelled which is amazing.”

Miss Watson and members of Mr Thorpe’s family flew out to Magaluf once they heard of his accident to support him from his hospital bed.

She described it as the “longest flight she had ever taken” and added: “We have been absolutely overwhelmed – me, James and his family.

“It’s really helping us get through this traumatic time. James has been in tears from the support he’s getting from people.”

Mr Edwards said that once Mr Thorpe is in a position which means he can leave hospital, support from The Fire Fighters Charity will start.

Mr Thorpe had only just arrived on his stag-do in Magaluf when he and five friends he had travelled with decided to go on a swim.

When he tripped in the sea, his friend Ross Pick went over to help him.

Miss Watson said: “If Ross hadn’t done that James would not be here today.”

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