A scaffolder is in intensive care after a freak trampoline accident left him paralysed from the chest down.
Rob Harcourt, 37, has suffered a cardiac arrest in hospital and had major surgery after doctors found fluid in his brain following the freak accident.
TeessideLive reported the scaffolder, who is described as a “massive joker”, was at a friend’s house when he tripped in the garden, falling onto a trampoline.
He suffered a “catastrophic” injury having dislocated his neck in the fall and kinked his spinal cord – with doctors saying he will likely be permanently paralysed from the chest down.
Friends have set up a fundraising page to support his partner Jade Higgins and her children while Rob battles a heartbreaking run of setbacks in hospital.
The hard-worker had taken on extra shifts as a scaffolder and friends say he had been working seven days a week to support his family as the cost of living crisis tightened purse strings.
So far more than £4,000 has been raised to support his loved ones who have found themselves in the most unimaginable circumstances.
Following the freak accident last month, Rob was rushed in for emergency surgery and was heavily sedated until a second eight-hour operation was carried out on the “catastrophic injury to his neck”.
Then last week Rob suffered a cardiac arrest and his heart stopped for over three minutes, leaving him in a critical condition.
Rob is on blood thinners because of a clot, has a high temperature and a designated machine trying to cool his body down as he remains in the ICU.
He then needed another operation after medics found fluid on his brain.
Friend Amanda Jones, who set up the Go Fund Me page, said: “They had to make a tough decision as because he is on blood thinners it was going to be quite a risky operation.
“Luckily the operation has gone okay but he is still in intensive care and hasn’t woken up yet.
“I think it’s going to be a few days before the doctors can give them any idea on what his quality of life is going to be like if and when he wakes up.”
The 40-year-old, who’s partner Alan struck up a bond with Rob over Facebook four years ago, added: “He was awake and talking when the accident happened, he hasn’t had a head injury.
He could move and lift his arms up but didn’t have full movement in his fingers. The doctors aren’t sure if that will come back.
“After the operation he has been really ill, he had fluid on his chest which has caused complications, then he had a blood clot from the operation. It’s a freak accident and it is really difficult to process.”
Despite being friends for years, Alan and Amanda, who live in Wales, have never met Rob and Jade in person although they talk on FaceTime often.
When they heard what happened, they felt they needed to do something to offer Rob and his family as much support as they could.
“I can’t believed how many people who don’t even know Rob have donated,” said Amanda.
“It is heart-warming to know that people really do care in times like this. It’s what you need, people rallying around.
“Jade’s said how she doesn’t have to worry about buying the children’s school uniform this morning.
She had been food shopping and didn’t have to worry too much because without Rob’s wages there’s no money coming in.
“You expect the Government to have a safety net there to catch people like this who are hard workers but a terrible accident like this has happened – but there doesn’t seem to be.”
“Rob’s a massive joker, he’s good fun and up for a life. He’s really intelligent and interesting to talk to, you can have a really interesting conversation with him.
“He’s an all-round really nice guy.”