JAMES McQUILLAN: 'My spirits are high'

Albury footballer James McQuillan, pictured with his girlfriend Kathryn James, says he has been overwhelmed by the support that has been shown since he was seriously injured against Yarrawonga.

Albury footballer James McQuillan, pictured with his girlfriend Kathryn James, says he has been overwhelmed by the support that has been shown since he was seriously injured against Yarrawonga.

ALBURY footballer James McQuillan has spoken from his hospital bed about the overwhelming support he has had from the Border community since suffering spinal injuries.

McQuillan was transferred from the spinal unit at the Austin Hospital to the Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre yesterday to begin the next stage of his rehabilitation.

The extent of his diagnosed quadriplegia will not be known for several months.

“I want to thank everyone for their support and best wishes,” McQuillan said yesterday.

“I’m determined to get stuck into my rehabilitation, and my main goal is to complete my physiotherapy degree, however long it takes.

“I had a really great day last Friday watching the Anzac Day footy with close friends and family.

“It’s been good to hear score updates from Albury Tigers matches while I have been in hospital.

“It’s been nice to have some normality after everything that has happened.

“My spirits are high and I continue to hope for the best.”

McQuillan, 20, sustained a serious spinal cord injury during a routine collision against Yarrawonga at Albury Sportsground on April 5 and was flown from the Albury hospital to the Austin.

Scans revealed he had sustained an unstable fracture of his C5 vertebrae which had compressed and damaged the spinal cord.

McQuillan had surgery the following morning to decompress the spinal cord and stabilise his neck as to not cause further damage.

He is expected to remain in Melbourne for six months,

The McQuillan family said they had been overwhelmed by the support they had received.

“While we continue to hope for the best, the full ramifications of James’ diagnosed quadriplegia will not be known for some time,” the family said in a statement.

“The staff at the Austin hospital have been exceptional in their care and treatment of James.

“We are truly thankful to James’ girlfriend Kathryn and her parents Craig and Heather for their love and support, as well as our extended network of family and friends.

“We are also continually overwhelmed at the support shown from not only the football community, but also those who do not know James, but have been concerned by his injury.

“James remains optimistic and in good spirits.

“His positive attitude and motivation do not come as a surprise to those who know James well and these attributes will be of great benefit to him as he persists with rehabilitation.”

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