A fundraiser has been launched for a man from Hitchin who has been paralysed from the neck down after a diving accident in Thailand.

Ethan Burn was instantly paralysed when he dislocated his C4 vertebrae and crushed his spinal cord during a shallow dive.

The 22-year-old was flown back to the UK for specialist treatment, but his family have admitted the challenges have been "immense" since the accident.

"Since the accident, the challenges have been immense - from navigating the immediate aftermath on a remote island to getting him back and securing appropriate care in the UK," they said.

The Comet: Ethan was flown back to the UK from Thailand for specialist treatment.Ethan was flown back to the UK from Thailand for specialist treatment. (Image: Burn Family)

Ethan is currently being treated at a specialist hospital, but funding is desperately needed to help continue his treatment and make adaptations to the family home to provide him with the best quality of life.

A JustGiving page has been set up, with an incredible £72,000 raised so far, almost 50 per cent of the £150,000 target.

"We realise we have set a huge target, but this is probably our one chance to make a difference to Ethan’s ongoing quality of life," his family continued.

"It will help fund the right ongoing rehabilitation and adaptations to our home for his return. Then there is the purchase of specialist equipment and adaptations outside of the remit of social care, maybe an exoskeleton arm with the ultimate aim of returning to work and allowing him to regain his independence.

The Comet: Ethan prepares to fly home from Thailand.Ethan prepares to fly home from Thailand. (Image: Burn Family)

"Beyond this there are some incredible technologies and treatments are available which are evolving all the time, but sadly most are unavailable via the NHS.

"We hope, together with your help we can explore these technologies & treatments so that Ethan can get back some of the life he was just beginning."

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The family were also keen to thank those who have donated so far, adding: "Ethan is the guy who, while still at school and working at Lidl, paid for a pensioner’s shopping when they became distressed after realising, they had no money at the checkout.

"We have always taught him that 'what goes around comes around' and the generosity we have been shown so far is testament to this.

The Comet: Ethan's family are hoping to raise £150,000 for his treatment.Ethan's family are hoping to raise £150,000 for his treatment. (Image: Burn Family)

"Your support means the world to us. Thank you for joining us on this journey to make a difference in Ethan's life and those of others going through this all too common and frightening ordeal."

All donations will be received by Aspire - a national spinal cord injury charity who will manage the fund for the family. Aspire will also receive a percentage of the total fund, allowing them to continue their vital services in supporting Ethan, and others.

To donate to Ethan and his family, visit justgiving.com/page/ethan-burn-empower-a-spinal-injuries-champion.