‘Cheeky’ Dale celebrates birthday after neck break

Car wash in aid of Dale Milne at the co-op with help from the fire service and cadets
Car wash in aid of Dale Milne at the co-op with help from the fire service and cadets

A POPULAR Whitby teenager left paralysed after a summer swimming accident just wants to be able to move his hands so he can play on his X-Box.

It is the main aim of Dale Milne who has spent the last two months in the intensive care unit at James Cook Hospital coming to terms with breaking his neck while playing in the sea off Whitby beach in June.

Speaking exclusively to the Whitby Gazette, his mum Louise, of St Peter’s Road, said the Whitby Community College pupil was still his “usual cheeky self” despite sustaining life-changing injuries.

She said: “He is doing really well, he is keeping positive but does have his down days but doesn’t everybody?

“He keeps us all cheerful, he is just his normal cheeky self, the nurses love him.

“The family are doing their damnest to keep it all together.

“It is a lot for him to take in, he hasn’t been asking a great deal of questions but he is sly and listens to everything, processes it and then starts questioning.

“He knows what’s going on, we haven’t hidden anything from him.”

Dale is going to physio at the spinal unit morning and afternoon and scans reveal the bone in his neck is healing well but slowly.

Doctors are considering swapping the halo type structure, which supports his body, for a hard collar and the next step is to get his shoulders moving so he can try to move his arms with a view to eventually having a motorised wheelchair.

Louise added: “Surgery has not been ruled out completely but it is looking more positive.

“All he keeps saying is he wants to get his hands moving so he can play on his X-Box.

“At the moment he is watching a lot of DVDs and playing games as best we can.”

Dale’s parents, who don’t drive, have virtually moved into James Cook Hospital where on Sunday, Dale was allowed to belatedly celebrate his 15th birthday as it fell just days after the accident.

His friends and members of the family were allowed into a flat on the spinal unit where the get-together had music, football games and a cake.

A series of fund-raising events organised by relatives and friends of the family have been taking place around town.

The latest one was a charity car wash at the Co-op car park on Wednesday with the local fire crew.

Louise broke off from her bedside vigil to lend her support along with Dale’s great uncle, Paul Fannen.

The event raised hundreds of pounds and proceeds were split between helping Dale and the Fire-Fighters Charity.