Thursday, 24 Sep 2020

Grandad in induced coma after breaking neck diving into swimming pool

A British grandfather is in an induced coma after breaking his neck diving into a hotel pool in Tenerife.

Christopher Watkins, 43, was pulled out of the water by lifeguards at the Aparthotel Columbus in Playa de las Americas after hitting his head last Friday.

The groundsman’s best friend Christian Preece, 43, told The Sun he thought he was ‘joking’ when he didn’t come up for air.

But the father-of-two cried out ‘I can’t feel anything’ and revealed a huge cut on his head.

He was rushed to a Spanish hospital where doctors put him in an induced coma.

Chris’ mother Gail, father Allen and daughters Kayleigh and Carly have flown to the Canary Islands to be by his side.

Kayleigh, 23, described him as a perfect dad and doting grandfather to her three-year-old daughter Gracie-Mae.

She said: ‘I’m in total shock. I can’t believe what’s happened. When I saw him in his hospital bed I just started shaking and crying. I felt sick. To see him like that was awful.

‘He was an absolutely brilliant dad who would do anything for us when we were growing up, and he’s exactly the same with Gracie-Mae.

‘He loves playing with her and not being able to do that will be so hard on him. My dad is in an induced coma so his body can rest.

‘The operation went well with no complications.’

His devastated family have launched a GoFundMe to raise £40,000 to bring Christopher – known as ‘Wocky’ – home to Pontypool, south Wales.

Kayleigh added: ‘We as a family are very very grateful for everyone’s support through this difficult time.

‘We can’t thank everyone enough for what they are doing and how everyone is coming together to bring my dad home where he belongs.’

Mum Gail, 61, said: ‘He might be 43 but he’s still my son. I’m not leaving the island until I take him home. Whatever we have to do to bring him back, we’ll do – it’s our duty.

‘He only had an E11 card so we’re going to be left with a huge medical bill on top of everything else.

‘That’s not even taking into account the air ambulance we need to bring him home. That could be £40,000 alone. It’s unthinkable.’

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