A promising rugby player from Sheffield will remain stranded in Turkey, where he is recovering from a quad bike crash, until his family can raise the £30,000 needed to bring him home.
Tyler Hutchinson, from High Green, is due to celebrate his 17th birthday on Monday in the Turkish hospital where he has been since nearly dying in a collision two weeks earlier.
His spleen was removed and he has undergone major shoulder surgery but his family hope he will be discharged soon and go on to make a full recovery.
However, his mother Nicola Hutchinson says it could be weeks until he is able to return home as the cost of his treatment is not covered by his insurance and doctors will only sign him off as fit to fly once the bill has been settled.
A crowdfunding appeal has already passed the £3,000 mark but she has urged people to ‘keep sharing’ and is also seeking support from charities and big businesses.
“Tyler’s doing a lot better now, thankfully, but he's very emotional and he just wants to come home,” she said.
“We’re a really close family and everyone’s missing him so much. I'd just ask everyone to keep sharing so we can get him back.”
Tyler left Ecclesfield School this year and is due to begin studying sports at Barnsley College.
He plays for the Sheffield Hawks rugby league club’s under-18s, where coaches believe he has the talent to achieve his dream of going professional.
The teenager was on holiday with his girlfriend and his family when the crash happened.
She was on the back of the bike and escaped with minor injuries but, as well as damaging his shoulder and spleen, Tyler broke several bones, sustained bleeding to the brain and came within millimetres of piercing his lung and dying.
Nicola, who has had to fly home to care her three younger children, leaving her mother to look after Tyler, said he was not to blame for the crash with a car but the terms of his insurance state he should not have been at the wheel of a quad bike without a driving licence.
She said her son had been touched by news of the support back home.
“He’s so grateful for all the donations and the messages, which my mum has been passing on as he's not able to use Facebook yet,” she said.
Tyler only returned to the rugby field for the final game of last season, having been out of action following major knee surgery, and he was looking forward to an injury-free run in the side.
“The first thing he said after the crash was ‘how long will it be before I can play rugby again?’,” said Nicola.
“It’s his dream to go pro and he’s already asked me to register him at the gym so he can build up his fitness as quickly as possible once he's home.”
Tyler’s brothers and sisters will be collecting donations with their grandfather outside Morrisons in Ecclesfield this weekend, and there will also be collections at the Sheffield Eagles’ next two games.