THE MOTHER of a teenager paralysed in a freak swimming accident at the beach says it is like being on an “emotional rollercoaster”.
And plans for a family barbecue to celebrate Dale Milne’s 15th birthday on Sunday were called off when he broke his neck diving into the waves on Whitby beach the week before.
Instead, he was sedated and on a ventilator while his close family brought a cake to his hospital bed at James Cook.
Mum Louise said: “It was heartbreaking, it really was. But they were really good at the hospital and let him have family and friends there and he had a cake. It wasn’t ideal and he didn’t know about it but when he is better we will do it again properly.”
Dale, a pupil at Whitby Community College, is currently sedated and fighting off a chest infection but Louise says doctors are hopeful he can be weaned off it over the next couple of days.
His head is being supported by screws and metal frames to prevent any further damage to his neck and doctors haven’t decided whether to operate yet but it is feared it could be months before the teenager is even allowed home.
Mum Louise is splitting herself between Dale, who was airlifted to hospital almost a fortnight ago, and her two other children, Jordan (13) and Kelsey (7), who are being looked after at home in St Peter’s Court by their gran.
Louise added: “At the moment we are in a parents’ room at the hospital and my mum is looking after my children and has moved into our house.
“I don’t like leaving Dale but I don’t like to think my kids are missing me but I popped back to Whitby on Tuesday because it was my daughter’s sports day and managed to spend some time there.
“It has been an absolute shock, nightmare and emotional rollercoaster but we have had that much support – it has been amazing and again I just want to thank everybody who helped on the beach that day – the lifeguards, the air ambulance and James Cook Hospital.”
A fund-raiser for Dale is being arranged by friends and will be held at The Met in Whitby on Friday 5 August, 7pm.
There will be live entertainment and prizes have been donated by local businesses. Tickets are £4 and are available from The Met and Whitby Community College.
Meanwhile, a Facebook page called Get Well Dale Milne has been created by one of his friends and has already attracted hundreds of posts, comments and get well wishes.