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Broken neck lands Kelowna rugby player in ICU

Lex Ann and Jonah Campbell pose for a picture at Kelowna General Hospital's intensive care unit as Campbell recovers from a broken neck.
Image Credit: Facebook
October 07, 2013 - 4:36 PM

KELOWNA - A young Kelowna man is fighting a battle with possible permanent paralysis after breaking his neck while playing rugby on Saturday afternoon.

Jonah Campbell, 24, plays for the Kelowna Crows. He went into a ruck and was hit by another player. The impact broke his C-4 and C-5 vertebrae in his neck. MRI scans show his spinal chord was severely damaged.

The UBC Okanagan science student is in intensive care at Kelowna General Hospital. The broken bones in his neck have been reset with traction.

The doctor has told the family that the outcome is impossible to know. There is a possibility that Campbell could regain mobility, but the doctor calls it a wait-and-see situation that could take days, weeks, months or years.

In a message on a Facebook page to keep family and friends informed about his progress, Campbell’s father and mother say they need a miracle. Wesley and Stacey Campbell are pastors at Kelowna’s New Life Church.

They say their son has born his injury well. He hasn’t complained and his personality hasn’t changed. He continues to joke with his brothers.

Campbell’s girlfriend Lex Ann has been by his side in ICU.

The most recent mobility test shows he has movement in his hands, he’s able to bend both knees, wiggle his toes and do a motion with his feet like pressing a gas peddle.

There has been an outpouring of support for Campbell’s recovery through social media, on both Facebook and Twitter.

The president of his rugby club, Jeff Findlay, is working to get a group photo taken with Campbell’s jersey. In a post on the Central Okanagan Rugby Enthusiasts website, Findlay says he is going to create a massive card from the photo where well wishers can write messages of support.

“I want everyone to write a positive message to Judah that he can look at every day through his rehabilitation,” Findlay says.

The photo will be taken at the East Field on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

To contact the reporter for this story, email halexander@infotelnews.ca or call 250-491-0331.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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