A LOCAL father-of-two is back on British soil after sustaining a life-threatening injury while on holiday in Tenerife.
Andy Openshaw was placed on a life support machine on the Spanish island after being involved in a near-fatal accident which left him with a fractured skull.
A total of £30,000 was needed to fly the 31-year-old home with his unit, prompting friends and family to set up a desperate appeal. That target was met on Wednesday evening within just weeks of it being set up.
As a result, Mr Openshaw, of Leigh, was flown home last night and was transferred to a hospital in Liverpool.
A number of fund-raisers have been held across the borough with comedian Jason Manford also playing a part when he publicly asked his fans to donate to the cause.
The 31-year-old obtained his injuries while attending a stag party in Tenerife when he dove into an empty pool which he thought was full. He was initially given just 48 hours to live. A police investigation has since been launched to determine whether there was correct signing to prevent people from jumping in.
The most important thing for Mr Openshaw’s family and friends has been to fly him back to the UK, where he will now continue his treatment at the Walton Centre in Liverpool.
His parents and wife Laura have both spent time at his bedside in the weeks since the accident on January 31.
Family friend Rob Hough said: “We just can’t thank everyone enough for the amount of support we’ve had to reach the target, it’s been unbelievable.
“It is amazing how quickly it has been raised. We were in Tesco bag-packing the other day and raised £1,700 just from that. Since the news of the appeal spread through local media it just took off. When Jason Manford put it out there everything just went crazy.”
A Facebook post late last night from Andy’s brother confirmed he had landed at Liverpool Airport.