Backpacker broke her neck diving into swimming pool one week into dream Thailand trip
A British backpacker has been told she may never walk again after breaking her neck diving into a pool on a "dream trip" to Thailand.
Sophie Wilson is preparing to fly home to England after well-wishers around the world raised £60,000 ($76,000) for a specialist medical flight home, after insurance company Insure and Go refused to pay, claiming the accident happened as a result of "reckless behaviour".
The 24-year-old was injured when she dived into a bar's swimming pool in Pai, northern Thailand on December 1, misjudging the depth and missing a sign that warned diving was prohibited.
A fellow traveller saved her from drowning and she was rushed to hospital, unable to move or feel her legs. She broke two vertebrae and has since undergone 10 hours of surgery.
Speaking last week, the former coffee shop manager, who was just one week into a six-month trip, claimed she was "lucky to be here"
"Initially I was in shock, I never had any reason to believe the pool to have been so shallow as people were jumping and diving in before me,’ she told iNews. "I never lost consciousness. I couldn’t feel my body, just excruciating pain in my neck. I remember saying that I couldn’t feel my legs."
Wilson, who is from Shepshed, Leicestershire, continued: "It is heartbreaking as I previously led a very active lifestyle and the doubt of whether I will be able to walk again is hard to take. But I believe that being negative will only make things harder. I’m lucky to still be here."
Although it was initially uncertain whether her family could afford to bring her home, it was reported on Wednesday that the £60,000 ($76,000) needed had been raised on a GoFundMe page in just six days.
The crowdfunding page had been set up by her family, who wrote that it was initially "touch and go" as to whether she would survive, due to her blood pressure dropping to dangerously low levels.
"Our wish now is to get her home as soon as is physically possible, so that she can begin her rehabilitation programme to support the recovery process and be reunited with her loving family, after what has been the most challenging time of our lives," they wrote.
Although she will be accompanied by a doctor and two nurses on the flight home, she must be considered fit enough to fly before she returns to England.
According to Leicestershire Live, she is now undergoing physiotherapy for six hours each day while the hospital staff who will accompany her await visas from the British Embassy allowing them into the UK.
Speaking from her daughter's bedside, Wilson's mother Jane said: "At one stage we were panicking over whether we would be able to get back. All the kind an generous people who donated to the fundraising page have made this possible and it has taken the pressure off us."
She added: "We want to pay the hospital bill, they did such a good job of saving her life. Sophie, as we all are, is overwhelmed by people’s generosity, she couldn’t believe people could be so generous, it has made her feel so small in a big world."