Thousands raised for injured tree surgeon

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FRIENDS of an Eastbourne charity fund-raiser who is fighting for his life after a tragic accident in France have raised thousands to help pay for his care.

Thirty-year-old Grant Andrews, is in a coma in Strasbourg, after suffering severe head and chest injuries, following a 30 foot fall onto Tarmac on May 5.

It is understood he fell through a hedge, and down an embankment.

He had been taking part in the Scumrun, a four-day charity drive across Europe.

Grant, who was travelling with a friend, had reached Strasbourg, and was to start the final leg of the journey the next day, when the incident occurred.

He has been joined at his bedside by pregnant fiancée Anna.

Although he now lives in Worthing, Grant is well known in the Eastbourne and Pevensey Bay areas and he also works at Chaffins Tree Surgery which is based locally.

Chris Thwaites, 33, whose brother was travelling with Grant, said what had happened was “surreal”.

He said, “My brother and Grant have been best mates through school and I’ve seen them grow up together, so the whole thing is really surreal.

“He is a happy-go-lucky guy, who will help anyone out and he doesn’t expect anything in return.

“My brother has been back and forth between here and France and is going back out there this weekend.”

Although Grant has medical insurance, it only covers a proportion of his care, and around £280-a-day extra is required.

Grant’s friend Tom McAlister has set up an online page, so people can monitor his progress and donate to the appeal.

In a matter of days, they have raised a staggering £5,000.

Tom said, “Grant’s medical insurance is only paying for 80 per cent of the costs of his care which are around £1,200 per day.

“Anything anyone can offer would be the amazing and would reduce the stress on Grant’s fiancée and his family.”

Chris said they had been shocked by the level of support offered.

He said, “We are not pressuring people, and a lot of people who know Grant have been really generous.

“The family are having to pay for his care and their accomodation, so we are just trying to raise as much as we can.”

Tim Harry, of Chaffins Tree Surgery in Eastbourne, where Grant works, said, “Grant is a born fighter and if any one can get through this it will be him.”

For further details and to donate visit www.gogetfunding.com/project/grant-andrews-fund

Grant’s condition is described as critical but stable.