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Campaign aims to support area man paralyzed after fluke injury

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help Riley Chapman, 20, and his family; 'This is truly a sad time,' says best friend spearheading fundraiser
riley go fund me may 2021
Orillia's Riley Chapman is paralyzed after suffering a fluke injury last week.

An Orillia man is in a Toronto hospital facing an uncertain future after suffering a ‘life-altering’, fluke injury last week.

Riley Chapman, 20, has no feeling below his chest or in his hands after sustaining a broken vertebrae in his neck that required surgery.

Currently, he is in ICU, requiring the use of a ventilator to assist with his breathing as his broken body heals. 

His best friend, Nicholas Sheridan, has started a GoFundMe campaign to help raise funds to support Chapman and his family.

“It is with a saddened heart I ask you to please join me in funding Riley in his recovery,” Sheridan says on the fundraising page.

Chapman, a graduate of Twin Lakes Secondary School, is a civil engineering student at Canadore College.

Sheridan says money raised will help the family deal with the financial fallout of what is expected to be a lengthy hospital stay. The campaign's goal is to raise $50,000; as of Thursday morning, almost $9,400 had been donated.

“Riley’s dad has had to take time off work and is regularly travelling to be by Riley’s side,” says a note on the fundraising page. 

“It is my intention to help fund expenses the family will incur throughout Riley’s recovery,” Sheridan said, noting they are likely to face “exorbitant” costs in the challenging days ahead.

“At this point, the doctors are unable to tell us how long this recovery may take or what it will look like,” Sheridan said.  

Doctors say it’s impossible to determine how long Chapman might be hospitalized, but it’s likely to be several months.

Sheridan urged people to support the family.

“If you’ve ever met Riley I’m sure you know how great of a person he is, and this is truly a sad time,” Sheridan wrote. “I’m hoping we can all join together to help this family and Riley out.”

Click here to donate via the GoFundMe page.