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'You never think this s**t is going to happen to you': Dragons forward breaks neck in swimming pool accident

Ed Jackson had emergency surgery last month and remains in hospital.

Jackson in action for Dragons earlier this season.
Jackson in action for Dragons earlier this season.
Image: Inpho

NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS forward Ed Jackson has described the moment he was pulled from a swimming pool by his father and a friend with no feeling in his legs and arms after a freak accident.

The 28-year-old, who has also played for Bath, Wasps and London Welsh, hit his head off the bottom of the pool at a friend’s barbecue on 8 April.

He was rushed to hospital in Bristol and underwent emergency surgery, with the injury leaving him with no feeling below his neck other than limited movement in his right arm.

In a post on his Facebook page, Jackson said:

“On the 8th April at a family friends BBQ I dived into the shallow end of a swimming pool. After hitting my head on the bottom I realised I couldn’t swim to the surface because I’d lost movement in my legs and power in my arms. My dad (a retired GP) and friend Daffyd immediately knew something was wrong, pulled me to the surface and stabilised me in the pool until the ambulance came.

“I was transferred to Southmead Hospital with a fracture dislocation at the C6/7 joint. After a number of MRI scans and X-Rays the Drs decided to operate at 2am to stabilise my neck as pressure was being put on my spinal cord. In surgery they removed my shattered disc, relocated my vertebrae and fixed it in place with a metal plate.

Source: Ed Jackson/Facebook

“I woke up in ICU, luckily completely coherent, however no feeling below my neck other than limited movement in my right arm.

“You never think this shit is ever going to happen to you, but it did, now I’ve got to deal with it. This is my road to recovery…”

Jackson joined Guinness Pro12 side Dragons from Wasps in 2015 and has made 36 appearances for the Welsh region.

The English number eight signed a contract extension with Dragons last December to keep him at Rodney Parade until 2019.

At the time of the accident, the club said in a statement Jackson’s injury was ‘non-rugby related’.

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Ryan Bailey

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