SEAFORD: Luke on the mend after cliff fall

Luke Sheppard pictured with his work.
Luke Sheppard pictured with his work.

A STUDENT from Seaford who plunged down a cliff on a cycling holiday has been flown back to the UK for treatment and is on the road to recovery.

Luke Sheppard was discovered lying unconscious by a friend during the trip to Dubrovnik in Croatia.

The Vale Road resident, who turns 24 today, landed in Croatia on Sunday, August 21, and had not been feeling well when he got off the plane.

As the team began cycling his childhood friend Geoffrey Haggar noticed Luke was not keeping up and decided to stay behind with his pal.

But having cycled a short distance in front of Luke, Geoffrey became concerned when Luke did not appear and travelled back to find his bike on the cliff edge but no sign of his friend.

The student, studying art and illustration at the University of Westminster, had fallen 60ft down a cliff and swallowed his tongue.

It is thought brambles and bushes had probably broken his fall.

With the help of a local man, Geoffrey managed to move his tongue and Luke was taken to hospital in a coma.

His 28-year-old brother Matthew and dad Clive flew out to be by his side and Luke was then flown by air ambulance to the Kings College Hospital in London last week.

Yesterday (Tuesday) his mother Linda said he had been transferred from the hospital’s Liver Intensive Care Unit to a high-dependency ward.

She said doctors believed it was heatstroke that had caused him to take a turn for the worse while abroad, adding, “I was devastated.

“It’s a parent’s worst nightmare that you’re going to find that something has happened to your children.

“There have been lots of tests and they have got his liver stable which is great news.

“He had a brain scan and they found a slight bleed to the brain. As long as there is not another bleed that will repair itself.

“I’m up in London now and visiting him every day.

“I’d like to thank everybody for their help, parish priest Father Niven, the doctors, nurses, family and friends that have shown such great support.”

Linda added that her Christian faith was keeping her strong and that St Thomas More Catholic Church held a special service for Luke – who has another brother Josh, 18, – the day after his accident which was attended by around 90 people.