Byron man found in ditch after Bali crash
A NSW man is facing the possibility of never walking again after a devastating motorbike accident in Bali.
Neil Goldsmith, a former Byron Bay local who now lives in Jawa Tengah, Indonesia, was found in a ditch with his motorcycle on top of him hours after the horrific crash on July 17.
The former Byron Bay local suffered devastating injuries to his spine and face and remains in intensive care at a Bali hospital, paralysed from the chest down.
His sister Louise Webber has set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the skyrocketing costs of his medical treatment, which includes facial reconstruction surgery, and has so far exceeded more than $40,000.
Ms Webber said her brother faced a one-in-three chance of walking again after the crash, which happened as he and his friend Dave were heading home from a day of surfing.
"When Neil didn't return home, Dave went back looking for him," she said.
"Four hours later he was found in a ditch with the motorbike on top of him. He was taken to hospital where X-rays and CT scans showed fractures in his vertebrae that required a spinal cord specialist."
Mr Goldsmith was sent to the BIMC Hospital in Nusa Dua - a gruelling six-hour ride by ambulance away.
Ms Webber said he was receiving "excellent care" at the hospital, where he has already had a series of surgeries and had stabiliser plates inserted in his fractured neck.
"At this point Neil is paralysed from the chest down but we're hoping that once the swelling in his spinal cord subsides he may regain some feeling," Louise said.
"He only has a one in three chance of walking again. Basically he's done a bloody good job of it, but we have every confidence that with all of our love, good energy, and support, he will make a good recovery."
However, she said the COVID-19 pandemic had made the horrific event even more difficult.
"Given the state of the world right now, it's breaking my heart that we can't be with Neil. I know he's in incredible pain," she said.
"I know he needs us. I know going forward this will be a tough journey for him."
More than $17,700 has been raised in the GoFundMe campaign so far.
A lot of support has come from surfing communities that Mr Goldsmith has been a beloved part.
"Surfing has given Neil an escape from the challenges of his mental health. It has given him light when for a time there was only darkness, and it's for this reason that he's made Indonesia and its waves his home," Ms Webber said.
"We are so very grateful to his Indonesian friends who are looking out for him."
Mr Goldsmith's accident comes a month after a millionaire Russian blogger was killed in a motorcycle crash in Bali.
Anastasia Tropitsel, 18, a popular Instagram influencer who became a millionaire at 15, was travelling on the bike alongside her boyfriend Viktor Maydanovich, 30, when he said she began to "wobble" while travelling at more than 90 km/h.
She then lost control of the Kawasaki and collided with a roadside fence, suffering fatal head injuries.
Originally published as Aussie found in ditch after Bali crash