Paratrooper breaks back in 30ft holiday fall horror
FAMILY and friends have spoken of their shock after a young soldier broke his back after falling four floors from his hotel balcony.
Lewis Bailey, a member of the Parachute Regiment’s Second Battalion, based in Colchester, was on holiday with friends in Ibiza enjoying a holiday before heading out to Afghanistan later this year.
But after a night out the 19-year-old felt unwell and returned to his apartment on his own.
The soldier, who lives in Colchester, rushed to be sick and fell over his balcony, falling about 30 feet.
He was found unconscious by a holiday rep at the Laura S’Atalaya apartments in San Antonio Bay and was rushed to Del Rosario Hospital in Ibiza Town.
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His mother, Emma, flew out from the UK to be with her son and had to give him the devastating news that his back had been broken.
An appeal has now been launched to try to raise money to fund costs of his rehabilitation when he flies back home following last week’s fall.
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Emma Bailey, speaking from Ibiza Town, where she has flown to be with her teenage son, said: “We are devastated, and we are desperate to bring Lewis home so that he can be looked after by his family and friends.
“All his life the only thing Lewis ever wanted to do was join the Army and serve his country. When he left school after his GCSEs he joined up straight away.”
Lewis, who celebrated his 19th birthday last month, has already served in the Falklands and Kenya and was looking forward to his first tour of Afghanistan in October.
Mrs Bailey, who lives in Sutton Coldfield, added: “It is a miracle Lewis survived the fall, and the fact that he is still alive is a testament to his strength, courage and sheer determination.
“But he is devastated by what has happened and that he won’t be fit for Afghanistan.”
Family friend Amanda Quinn told the EADT there were already plans being made for fundraising events to be held in Colchester.
“He has wiggled his toes, which is promising, but apart from that, we just know it is going to be a long, hard slog to recovery.
“There is no prognosis at the moment, we really don’t know. It was testament to Lewis’ pure muscle strength that he survived. They are calling him ‘Lucky’ at the hospital because he should never, never have survived that fall.”
Lewis’s family and friends are fundraising for his rehabilitation once he is back in England and a support group has been set up on Facebook and can be viewed by searching for “Lewis support group”.