Dorset

£20,000 raised for paralysed gymnast and dancer from Poole

Dina Amos-Larkin Image copyright Dina Larkin
Image caption Dina Amos-Larkin, 21, represented Great Britain in trampolining but is not likely to walk again

A campaign has raised £20,000 in two days for a gymnast who was left paralysed after falling 50ft from a hotel balcony in Spain.

Dina Amos-Larkin, 21, from Poole, Dorset was at a sports festival in Salou when she fell backwards over the railings, smashing her spine.

She said she was "overwhelmed" by the money raised after insurers refused to pay out.

The law student said the medical repatriation alone would cost £10,000.

'Nearly didn't make it'

Ms Amos-Larkin, who has represented Great Britain in trampolining, told the BBC: "It was the final night, I'd had a bit to drink and I was a bit upset because I had some differences with my friends throughout the whole week.

"I was on the phone to my mum later in the evening, I went outside, had a cigarette and leant backwards on the ledge of the balcony."

The Surrey University student then fell 50ft (15m) and landed on to the corrugated roof of a storage shed.

She said: "I broke my spine, I severed my spinal cord, I had two bleeds on my brain, I broke both my wrists.

"I'm paralysed from the chest down. The doctors told me that I very nearly didn't make it to hospital."

She added it was hard to cope with the suddenness of her injury: "I was on holiday, I was having a good time, I woke up two weeks later and was told I would never walk again."

Ms Amos-Larkin said the insurers have not paid out because of the amount of alcohol in her blood at the time she fell.

Her friend James Cochrane set up a fundraising campaign on 25 April to help pay for the flight home.

A spokeswoman for insurance company AXA said Ms Amos-Larkin's claim had been declined due to exclusions in the policy including "self-inflicted injury or illness, suicide or attempted suicide, sexually transmitted diseases, solvent abuse, alcohol abuse, the use of drugs, self-exposure to needless peril (except in an attempt to save human life)".

She added: "However, we have been assisting Dina's family throughout their ordeal and continue to provide assistance operationally and financially on an ex-gratia basis for her repatriation."

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