Jason de Belle's family is rushing to get to Madrid after he was hit by a metro.
MONTREAL – Jason de Belle, 35, was travelling across Europe, taking in the sights when the unthinkable happened.
He was hit by a metro on Saturday and was rushed to hospital.
“Apparently, he was on the platform in Madrid and he got too close to the edge and he was struck by the metro train as it came into the station,” said Cliff Oswald, de Belle’s stepfather.
“He was struck in the chest and broke some ribs, which perforated his lungs.”
De Belle remains in stable, but critical condition in Hospital Universitario Clinico San Carlos.
“He’s in good hands there,” Oswald told Global News.
“They’re keeping him sedated on life support to give his body a rest. He’s a very positive fellow. I’m pretty positive he’s going to pull through any unforeseen complications.”
Now, the family is working to cross the Atlantic so they can be there when de Belle wakes up.
The first step – get a passport.
“We were not intending to travel anywhere,” said Oswald, telling Global News he was heading out to take his passport pictures Monday afternoon.
The second – gather enough money for the expensive plane tickets, just a few days before Christmas.
That’s where Jamie Myles came in, starting a GoFundMe page to raise money for both the Oswalds’ tickets to Madrid and for de Belle’s medical expenses.
“My son Logan used to go to Jason’s mum Debi’s daycare, so I felt I had to do something to help when I heard the terrible news,” Myles told Global News.
By Tuesday afternoon, the fundraiser had gathered over $18,000.
“All the money raised will go directly to Jason’s family to cover the medical costs, costs that are incurred that are associated with visits to Madrid, physio and rehabilitation,” Myles told Global News.
A metro sign in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, December 22, 2015. Amanda Kelly
A metro sign in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, December 22, 2015.
Until they get over there, De Belle’s girlfriend, Jin Jing, who lives and works in Spain, has been giving the family regular updates on de Belle’s situation.
“She’s been our lifeline over there,” said Oswald.
De Belle is expected to undergo surgery in three days to move two broken ribs that are too close to a main artery.
If all goes well, he won’t be able to return to Montreal for at least another five weeks.
“We keep our spirits up. My wife is struggling along as any mother would over an accident involving her child,” said Oswald.
“It’s an important thing for all of us, when you walk out the door that morning, try to be on good terms with everyone. You never know what’s going to happen.”
A musical fundraiser has also been organized to raise money for de Belle’s recovery on Dec. 23 at 5 p.m. at Mariposa (5434 Côte-Saint-Luc).