03 November 2009

The Puffin Paddle - One Man. One Brother. One River

Puffin Magic Foundation

I became aware of The Puffin Paddle while reading Fatpaddler's blog. Sean (Fatpaddler), shared this incredible story of tragedy, hope and brotherly love that I now share with you.

On 1 November 2008 James Gribble suffered a severe spinal injury in a freak accident, rendering him a quadriplegic. Waiting to go Tiger fishing on the mighty Zambezi River on a terribly hot day, James merely fainted whilst sitting on a stool, falling backward onto hard sand.

The result of this seemingly innocuous occurrence was catastrophic. The impact of the fall severely bruised his spinal cord and broke his C4 and C5 vertebrae, leaving James with voluntary movement only from his shoulder up.

Due to the remoteness and inaccessibility of the location, it was 30 hours before James reached fully qualified medical care. This delay worsened his condition by causing fluid to collect in his lungs, leading to respiratory complications.

The Puffin Magic Foundation (PMF) was founded with the goal of supporting James throughout his rehabilitation and to expand to support other quadriplegics.
In an effort to raise funds for the PMF, James’ younger brother, Martin will attempt to kayak the length of the Murray River from Albury-Wodonga on the NSW / Victorian border, to Goolwa, South Australia.

Paddling constantly rain, hail or shine, The Puffin Paddle will take 56 days to complete the 2,200km journey and will commence on 1 November this year-hopefully Martin will finish on time and make it home for Christmas with James and his family.

Read the blog of Martin's journey driven by love of one brother for another

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