A group of friends have raised a staggering $100,000 to support their pal, who is now paralyzed from the chest down after jumping into a shallow pool on a Sydney beach.
Haruto Morishita, 22, is described by friends as an avid surfer, skater, photographer and all around “good pal”.
After moving to Sydney’s northern beaches earlier this year on a working holiday visa, Mr Morishita quickly found his feet in his new city.
Everything changed in an instant when he dove into an ocean pool at Dee Why Beach on October 27 and banged his head on the bottom.
Mr Morishita suffered a fractured neck which “severely damaged” his spinal cord.
“Although conscious, he was unable to move his arms or legs and was transported in an ambulance escorted by police to the Royal North Shore Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery to realign and stabilize his fractured spine,” friend Tony wrote Fry on his GoFundMe page.
Sharing an update from his hospital bed, Mr Morishita said he is working on his recovery so everyone can one day meet him as their “recovered self”.
“First of all, I would like to apologize to everyone for causing a lot of worry and concern through an accident that I caused myself,” he said.
“I also want to express my eternal gratitude to everyone for their overwhelming support, from those who know me before to those I haven’t had the privilege to meet yet.
“I will convert all your support into power and work as hard as I can on my rehabilitation journey. I will work hard every day to one day meet you all as my regained self.”
The campaign has already raised $99,371 to help reduce costs on what is expected to be a “long and expensive” road to recovery.
As Mr. Morishita has a short-stay visa, he has limited insurance coverage and his family is not yet sure what the coverage is.
Paralyzed from the chest down and having trouble breathing, the young man’s life has changed drastically.
He is now on life support and can talk, but Mr Morishita has been told his body will never be the same.
“We have been told that because a damaged spinal cord cannot be repaired, the chances of his body movement going back to how it was is nil,” Mr Fry said.
“But our Haruto is in good spirits despite these traumatic events. “When can I start physio?” was one of the first things he asked since he could speak.”
Mr Morishita’s parents applied for emergency passports and flew to Sydney as soon as possible but had to return home to settle their affairs.
“Our family is so grateful for everyone’s heartwarming messages and support,” they shared on the GoFundMe page.
“We will support him in any way we can. So if you could keep cheering for him we would be forever grateful.”
Mr Fry thanked the heroic efforts of locals on the northern beaches on behalf of Mr Morishita and his family after they rushed to the 22-year-old’s aid in the moments following the horrific accident.
“The local Northern Beaches community who didn’t think twice about helping our dear friend by the pool,” he said.
He also thanked the paramedics, police, fire brigade and health workers at the Royal North Shore Hospital, where Mr Morishita remains in intensive care.
Originally posted as friends raise $100,000 for a ‘good pal’ who is paralyzed after jumping in the Sydney pool