Fundraiser in thanks after gym accident

THE grateful family of a gymnast who broke his neck and suffered a stroke are holding a charity ball for the hospital which helped him in his recovery.

George Lee, 19, of Alexandra Road, St Leonards, was performing tumbling acts in December 2011 at a Christmas show when he had his accident.

George Lee wearing the halo brace

George Lee wearing the halo brace

As a result he broke his left arm in two places, as well as his neck. Following that he suffered a stroke, aged only 17.

He spent four weeks at Hurstwood Park Neurological Centre in Haywards Heath following his stroke.

His family are now holding a summer ball at Azur, Marina Pavilion on Sunday, August 11 from 7pm to raise money for the hospital.

George said: “I was performing tumbles, something I’ve done a million times before, at the show and decided half way through to change my act. I landed in a backwards crab position, breaking my neck and left arm.”

George was taken to hospital. The next day he felt groggy and his family knew something was wrong.

His mum Vanessa said: “George kept dropping his phone and talking like Forrest Gump as in the film. “

George had a halo brace fitted around his neck at the Conquest which he had to wear for 14 weeks so as to stop his neck moving after the fracture.

Unfortunately after it was removed George’s neck was still moving forward and his spinal cord was being squashed. Because of his stroke he became deaf in the left ear. The teenager was also given warfarin, which thins the blood, at Hurstwood Park in case he had blood clots on his brain.

George said: “I had an operation to have screws and a plate fitted in to correct my neck. They had to give me vitamin K injections to help thicken the blood, otherwise I’d have bled to death due to all the warfarin I was on.”

Mrs Lee said: “Hollington Gymnastics Club has been incredibly supportive to George and us as a family. Eight gymnasts came to visit him when he was at Hurstwood Park.

“The treatment at Hurstwood Park was brilliant and fantastic.”

George, who has four brothers, has still not fully recovered and needs physiotherapy because of balance problems. He has had to stop tumbling and acrobatics, something he has performed in national competitions since he was a boy, winning more than 80 medals.

Tickets are £30 for the ball. For more information and to book ring Mrs Lee on 07723 376414.