A SKIING accident left former American football player Dan Wierzbicki paralysed from the chest down.
Now his former teammates at the Portsmouth Dreadnoughts are holding a charity day to raise money for the Backup Trust which helps people with spinal injuries get back into sport.
I can’t thank the Dreadnoughts enough for arranging this amazing event.Dan Wierzbicki
The event is this Sunday as the Dreadnoughts take on Hastings Conquerors at Alexandra Park, in Hilsea.
Dan, from Portsmouth, said: ‘I can’t thank the Dreadnoughts enough for arranging this amazing event.
‘A lot of hard work and effort has been put in, on top of the added pressure of the game itself. A win would just top off the day.’
Dan was injured while working at a ski resort in France. He hit hidden rocks while going down a slope – fracturing his skull and several back bones.
He added: ‘I fractured my skull and had a bleed on my brain. I also fractured my neck and three ribs and my sternum snapped.
‘I also crushed the T3 and T4 vertebrae in my back, damaging my spinal cord.
‘I now have a lot of metal holding me together.’
But Dan is staying positive and is determined to get back on the slopes.
Dreadnoughts player Sam Guillen organised the charity day. He said: ‘Dan was one of the first members to join the Dreadnoughts when it started and even though he left, he was still very much a member of the team.
‘When the team heard about his accident we were absolutely devastated, but we knew that we had to do something for him.’
The event will have a bouncy castle, stalls and a raffle. It starts at 11am with the game at 2.30pm.