In his first week of retirement, Lam was holidaying in the U.S. But on his first night, a simple trip down the stairs left him with a serious spinal cord injury.
( C3-C4 disc herniation ).
So, the good news:
- He's alive, conscious and is talking as much as ever.
- After two surgeries and a good hospital team - he is now part robot with titanium plates fusing his spine.
- As a result, he has some feeling and movement in his legs and arms.
So they can rebuild him. (Personally, I'm hoping for more robot parts)
He is still in the intensive care unit. But they're now recommending at least 10 days of rehab in the US, with the goal of getting him to sit in a chair comfortably for as long as possible.
Right now, we'd like to get him well enough to get him on a flight back to Melbourne where we've lined up a medical team (and friends ) waiting on him.
The not so good news:
The level of travel and health insurance cover Lam has does not look like it will cover US rehab ( $6k per day ) and flights home with a medical team and transfers ($45k ).
Me, I'd like to see him arrive in a jetpack, but the doctors won't sign it off.
Ideally, we would need the money in the by the 14 October - so that we can book all the flights and connections as soon as he's declared fit to travel.
At the moment - Chi and James are with and supporting Lam 24/7.
We're told that with this type of injury the first weeks are crucial, with the difference between having long-term use of hand or not at all. I know that having the support of his friends, family and community will help.
We're all in this for a long road. But I'm looking forward to seeing Bonic Lam win the under 70s Springvale grand slam in 2018.
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