Big bill after jump goes wrong

Last updated 08:12 03/02/2014

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A Welsh skydiver, in an Auckland hospital after a jumping accident, is facing a long recovery - and a big bill.

Ben Cornick, 31, from Swansea, south Wales, lost control of a steering toggle on a specialist parachute during a 3500 metre skydiving jump in Fiji on January 14.

He fell out of the sky into a parked van.

Cornick broke his right leg in three places, snapped his left arm, and suffered damage to his kneecaps and hip.

Doctors in Fiji were unable to pin the broken bones and facing amputation, Cornick was medevaced to Auckland.

He underwent successful surgery and had a rod put through his femur.

Cornick was a skydiving instructor in Fiji, but the ill-fated jump was on a day off, with his own equipment - so he was not insured.

Cousin Ricky Davies set up a Facebook page to help pay for Cornick's medical bills, and friends from around the world have donated to help pay for the emergency flight to Auckland and limb-saving surgery.

Posting on the Facebook page Cornick said he was "in total awe of what you guys have achieved for me and I owe every single one of you."

"One shattered elbow, arm, femur and hip are all up and fixed (fingers crossed) and now its a case of hitting up the drugs and trying to get moving again."

Getting out of bed was now a two-person job, rather than a three-person job, so "things are looking up already," he said.

Cornick said the nature of the accident meant he was lucky to be alive - and he expected his infant son would walk before he did.

Doctors told him it would be a minimum of three months before he could put any weight on the arm or leg, or to start physiotherapy to work towards full recovery.

"For now I need to learn to walk again quick sharp, annoy ... some friends here in NZ for a few weeks and then concentrate on getting back to my son, Alfie, who will probably be walking better than me by the time I get home," Cornick said.

He aimed to be back in Wales by March 24, which would be Alfie's first birthday.

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