Eighteen-year-old Samuel Corria is currently in a rehabilitation centre in Melbourne after undergoing several emergency operations to remove part of his skull and relieve the pressure caused by bleeding on his brain.
Samuel, from Barry, had been working as a fruit-picker in South Australia during a gap-year after taking his A-levels. But his adventure turned to disaster on Easter Saturday as he drove a seven-seater Mitsubishi Nimbus in Dareton, New South Wales. The vehicle left the road after hitting an irrigation pipe, and rolled over at least four times before coming to a stop upside-down in a drain.
A 21-year-old French student who escaped with minor injuries pulled Samuel out of the wreckage and called an ambulance. Samuel was taken to Mildura Base Hospital for emergency treatment, and was later airlifted to Melbourne Hospital. There he was put in a medically induced coma and underwent further surgery on his left arm and a broken vertebra in his spine.
Samuel’s mother, Sarah Milne, has flown out to Australia to be at his bedside. Her son must learn to walk and regain the use of his arms, and will need further operations in about six weeks to reconstruct his skull after the swelling on his brain has subsided.
A massive added worry for his distraught family is that Samuel’s insurance cover lapsed three weeks ago – leaving them to cover his £74,000 intensive care bill, plus mounting rehabilitation centre costs of £24,000 a month.
Jane Williamson, his aunt, said: “This was horrific for my sister. She was told 80 per cent of people with these sorts of injuries die or are left severely paralysed. So he is extremely lucky, but he has a got a long way to go.”
Speaking to Walesonline, she said: “We are hoping the NHS can help to cover the costs, and hopefully pay for Samuel to come home. I have tried to speak to the embassy but so far they said they cannot help.”
Samuel’s brother, Tremaine Hoffman, has set up a ‘Help Sam get home’ fundraising page which has so far raised more than £4600. If you would like to help, visit http://www.gofundme.com/rrx8rn4c