DESPITE the bleak prospect of never being able to walk again following a horror rugby injury, Luke Orton is turning his tragedy into a positive. 

The world has been turned upside down since Luke broke his neck while playing a beach rugby match in the South Island Sevens, at Appley, in July. 

But his parents, Tony and Lesley, of Alpine Road, Ventnor, gain strength knowing Luke remains positive as he considers his wheelchair-bound future.

Isle of Wight County Press: Luke Orton enjoying his first proper meal after three months without solids.Luke Orton enjoying his first proper meal after three months without solids. (Image: Tony Orton)

Luke's injury is life-changing — a broken C5 vertebrae, with spinal fracture, which pressed onto his spinal cord, leaving him paralysed from the chest down, without the use of his hands. 

Tears flowed as Tony and Lesley recounted what happened in Ryde, what Luke has gone through since, his bleak prognosis and a sobering contemplation of what the future holds.

They were spectators watching Luke play the sport he loved — but it turned on a sixpence in one freak moment. 

Lesley, said: "I knew something wasn't right and ran to him. Luke couldn't feel anything. He was conscious, but struggling to breathe, with no oxygen available to give him.

Isle of Wight County Press: Luke in a wheelchair for the first time in September. Luke in a wheelchair for the first time in September. (Image: Tony Orton)

"We were frightened out of our wits. I won't ever forget him saying he heard his own neck break." 

He was transferred from St Mary's Hospital to Southampton General, where he spent six weeks in ICU.

Following an emergency operation, Luke was transferred to Salisbury District Hospital's spinal treatment centre for rehabilitation. 

How to donate to help Luke

To help Luke move back home click here

To help make Luke's time in hospital more comfortable click here


"Luke works hard, is realistic and strong, with a positive attitude — but it's a long road ahead," said Tony.

Luke's parents travel to Wiltshire three times a week — seeing gradual improvement, most notably with movement in his arms.

Diagnosed as having sensory, but no motor function, Luke was given a 20 per cent chance of regaining functionality, with next to no chance of being able to walk again.

"He can't feel his fingers. He looks at them, willing them to move, to work, but they don't," said Lesley.

"He's only 26. That's the hardest part."

Luke hopes to return home in the spring, with much to do to adapt the property to his needs — but it will cost at least £20,000.

Tony set up a JustGiving page to raise it. 

So far, £4,518 has been donated, alongside pledges from tradespeople to do work, alongside local fundraising efforts.

Also, a JustGiving page to help him financially while in hospital, stands at £13,637.

Scroll up for the links to donate

Thanks to Luke's parents for speaking to the County Press.