Northern Ireland news

Co Antrim man who suffered serious injuries after fall in Switzerland to be flown home

BRIDGE FALL: David Heron from Carrickfergus suffered a fall in Switzerland last month

THE brother of a Co Antrim man who suffered serious injuries after plunging 20 feet from a bridge in Switzerland has told of the family's hopes he will be flown home today for further treatment.

David Heron (36), from Carrickfergus, was attending a music festival in Zurich when he fell off a wall he was sitting on, landing on a concrete path below.

The electrician, who was working in the country at the time, suffered brain injuries, a punctured lung as well as fractures to his skull, spine, shoulder, collar bone and ribs in the accident on August 11.

He was rushed to hospital where he underwent surgery and spent time in intensive care.

His brother Mark last night told The Irish News that while David was making great progress, there is "still a long way to go".

"Physically, he's doing well, he has come on really well, but he gets confused very easily. It's strange the things he remembers, some of them very trivial, and the things that he can't remember at all," he said.

"We need to get him home to be with his family so he can make a full and speedy recovery."

Mr Heron praised the care his brother had received in Switzerland, but said medics have advised the family that his recovery would be improved if he received treatment in familiar surroundings.

Relatives launched a massive fundraising campaign, with around £17,000 donated to a JustGiving page.

Mr Heron said yesterday the funds mean they have been able to secure a special flight and medical assistance to bring him back.

"Whenever I started the JustGiving page, I never thought we would get enough money, but we're now at the point where we have to get him home," he said.

"The company organising the flight are still to finalise the itinerary, but I'm hoping it's going to be tomorrow.

"They said it's all based on him getting a hospital bed in Belfast, which they say they now have, although I'm not sure if it will be Musgrave or another Belfast hospital. He stills need one-to-one care when he gets home."

He added: "I can't begin to put into words how generous people have been - it's unreal, there have been so many tears of thankfulness.

"Since news of what happened David was made public, the local community has come together to supports us.

"We are totally overwhelmed with the generosity. Everybody can't wait to get him home."

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