Teenager who broke back in sledging accident returns to the slopes

A teenager who broke his back in a sledging accident has returned to the slopes after raising money for the hospital that cared for him.

Filip Cegar, 14, had to learn to walk again after the accident in December 2022, in which he broke both his back and breastbone.

After recovering he climbed 674 steps up the Eiffel Tower last July, raising more than £5,500 for the Archie Foundation to thank the team that looked after him in Aberdeen.

The funds have been used to buy two recliner chairs for the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital (RACH) which will allow other families to sit by their child’s bedside in comfort.

Filip with recliner chairs
Filip Cegar raised the funds to buy two new recliner chairs for the hospital (Family Handout/PA)

He said: “It was just amazing to be snowboarding again. I’m incredibly grateful to be able to do the things I love again.

“It was also really special to be able to raise money for the Archie Foundation and give something back to those who helped me and my family.”

His mother, Irena, said: “I can’t describe the feelings of happiness when I saw his first video sent from the mountains, I could only imagine how he felt.”

Filip Cegar charity fundraising
Filip Cegar climbed up the Eiffel Tower last summer (Family Handout/Big Partnership/PA)

His father, Petar, rushed from the family home in Milltimber to the scene, to find his son lying on the ground and unable to move.

The injured teenager was taken by ambulance to the RACH, where he underwent an urgent operation led by consultant neurosurgeon Mr James Walkden, to realign his spine and fix the bones in place.

Filip was later transferred to the Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit in Glasgow, where he had to learn to walk again.

Mr Walkden said: “We felt that Filip’s best chance of recovery would be to stabilise his spine and decompress the cord here in the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital.

“I regularly perform this type of surgery in adult patients, but this was the first time we have done the procedure on a child in Aberdeen.

“The surgery went very well and the whole neurosurgery department in Aberdeen is so delighted for Filip, his recovery has been exceptional.

“We also greatly appreciate the fundraising he has done to help both RACH and the Archie Foundation.”

Hospital staff said the recent donation will make a difference to other families.

Leona Pottinger, senior charge nurse in the High Dependency Unit (HDU), said: “We are extremely grateful to the Cegar family for the donation of two, pull-out, chair beds, and incredibly proud of Filip for climbing the Eiffel Tower during his recovery from his accident. What an absolutely amazing achievement.

“During Filip’s admission to HDU, his parents were able to use one of our existing chair beds to stay by Filip’s side.

“This very kind donation allows us to have a chair bed available at each of our bed spaces, allowing all of our parents/carers the opportunity to stay with their child comfortably.”

The Archie Foundation exists to transform experiences and outcomes in healthcare and bereavement for babies, children and families across North Scotland.

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