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GoFundMe set up for Calgary man who broke back on Italian vacation

Richard Bryant broke his back and cracked his skull when he fell while trying to jump into a pool

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The family of a Calgary man who broke his back while on vacation in Italy said they’re thankful for the support from the community in raising money towards his rehabilitation.

Richard Bryant was on vacation near Naples when he fell while trying to jump into a pool from extremely high, landing hard and breaking his back and cracking his skull. 

Richard was on life support in a medically induced coma while emergency back surgery was performed but has since been moved out of the ICU.

“As he came to he was able to answer yes and no questions and he can move his limbs— we’re incredibly relieved,” wrote Richard’s brother, Chad, on a GoFundMe page he’d set up.

Chad told Metro Thursday that when Richard initially woke up he didn’t recognize the friends he’d been vacationing with. But on Thursday morning Chad said his parents— who flew immediately to Naples to be with Richard— provided a positive update.

“Today his friends came in and asked if he recognized them and he said ‘yeah, you’re Harold and Kumar…just kidding, I know who you guys are,’” said Chad.

When the joke was shared in a group chat of close friends of Richard’s, Chad said everyone lit up with positivity at hearing their friend’s good sense of humour shining through.

The GoFundMe has raised $7,000 of its $100,000 goal in the last 24 hours.

“It’s magical, but we’re not very surprised because we know how many people love Richard and would want to do anything for him because he’s the kind of guy who would do anything for anybody,” Chad said.

At the same time we’re overwhelmed by the love and support we’re getting from everyone and so pleased to see he’s being supported as he needs to be.”

Chad said luckily his brother had the foresight to get very comprehensive travel insurance, but said they hope to use to money for what will inevitably be a very expensive recovery.

“It’s going to be a long and expensive road to recovery.  We anticipate rehab; physiotherapy and many other things to hopefully get him back to walking and being his adventurous self.”

To donate to Richard’s recovery visit: https://www.gofundme.com/bc3au-richs-road-to-recovery

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