A TRAGIC accident at Kelly’s Beach on New Year’s Day brought a family’s festive celebrations to an abrupt halt and left a 29-year-old man paralysed from the chest down.
Lyall Beadon, who lives in Grahamstown and recently began work at Penny Pinchers there, decided to go for an early morning swim. He and a few friends got to the beach at around 4am to experience the first sunrise of the New Year and were standing waist-high in the water when a large wave turned and dumped him onto a sand bank.
“He told us he was diving through the wave, but it turned him and flattened him face down in the water,” said his sister Stacey, who arrived after Beadon’s friends had pulled him out of the water and placed his body in recovery position.
TRAGIC ACCIDENT: Lyall Beadon of Grahamstown was paralysed from the chest down after a wave dumped him at Kelly’s Beach in the early morning of January 1 Picture: SUPPLIED
“Lyall said he was worried he might drown at that point, as the waves kept him flattened under water, but finally a wave turned him face-up, allowing him to call for help from his friends.”
His friends managed to pull Breadon from the water and onto the beach. After calling on emergency services, two ambulances arrived and Gardmed took him Port Alfred Hospital where it was confirmed Beadon had broken his C7 vertebrae.
He was then taken to Beacon Bay Hospital in East London where he is currently in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
“We could not believe it,” said Stacey. “Lyall has always been a very fit and strong person who played sports throughout his life, including kite-surfing. Sport was Lyall’s life.”
While in ICU Beadon’s family thoroughly researched what sort of treatment he might require to get back on his feet, and have decided Aurora Rehabilitation Centre in Port Elizabeth offers the best chance of recovery. Doctors have agreed he will be moved there as soon as he is released from ICU.
Beadon himself seems in good spirits and, even from his hospital bed, has thanked the support he had received from family, friends and even complete strangers.
The cost of Beadon’s medical treatment is running at around R500 000, and the family need financial assistance in order to pay the bills. Anyone wanting to donate money can use the following banking details:
Name: ML Beadon
Bank: Standard Bank
Account number: 281101787
Reference: Your name #lyall
You may also log in to a website to check on Beadon’s progress: www.savelyall.com.
Beadon’s sister, who shares a house with him in Grahamstown, was optimistic about his recovery.
“Lyall is my big brother, and has always looked after me. It’s time for me to return the favour until he is back on his feet,” she said.