Australia: Injured Albury water polo star Nick Dempsey moves to Gold Coast for next stage of rehabilitation - PressFrom - Australia
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AustraliaInjured Albury water polo star Nick Dempsey moves to Gold Coast for next stage of rehabilitation

02:30  16 june  2019
02:30  16 june  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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Injured Albury water polo star Nick Dempsey moves to Gold Coast for next stage of rehabilitation© Supplied: Dempsey Family Nick Dempsey, with his mum Trudy, says the support from his family, his girlfriend, friends and the Albury community has been amazing. Six months after his community built a house to help with his rehabilitation, former water polo star Nick Dempsey will leave Albury to continue his therapy at one of Australia's leading rehabilitation facilities.

The 23-year-old was left a quadriplegic after breaking his neck in a swimming pool accident while celebrating his 21st birthday in 2017.

The house sold for more than $500,000 and the funds raised from the sale will help with his relocation to the Gold Coast, to be closer to industry-leading therapy.

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"This is so I can attend [rehabilitation centre] Making Strides on a regular basis," Mr Dempsey said.

He has been travelling to the facility as often as possible, but the move will allow him to attend three to four sessions a week.

Last year, the Albury-Wodonga community rallied around Mr Dempsey and his family, donating thousands of dollars and countless hours in donated labour to help build the four-bedroom home near Albury.

After being passed in at auction for a vendor bid of $550,000, it sold for $558,000 in December.

Mr Dempsey said it was this act of generosity and many other fundraisers held by the community since his accident which allowed him to access the specialised treatment.

"This wouldn't be possible without the money raised by the community to go towards funding my therapy so I am extremely grateful," he said.

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His father Peter and mother Trudy were thankful for the community's support.

"It all wouldn't have been possible without the generosity of all the people that helped in Albury, all the tradies for their time for Nick's Journey House and the amazing Nick's Journey committee," Peter Dempsey said.

He said they would miss their son but were happy to see him have access to the centre which did "amazing work".

"It's great really, we encourage him, he is a 23-year-old adult, he makes his own decisions," Peter Dempsey said.

"He absolutely loves it there and Trudi and I say anything Nick wants to do that makes him happy, we obviously encourage."

They had no doubt their son, who will be supported in his move to the warmer climate by girlfriend Freya Saunders, would continue to defy the odds with his rehabilitation.

"Nick can't control his own body temperature, so the cold weather in Albury absolutely hurts him, he sits in front of our fire most of the time and that's no good either," Peter Dempsey said.

"So it's for him to get out in the warm weather and experience stuff with Freya who has been absolutely amazing."

Mr Dempsey and Ms Saunders will live in the former Commonwealth Games Athletes Village on the Gold Coast.

"As an adult he needs his freedom, he needs to make his own decisions, and so far in life everything it has thrown at him he has achieved, and he is an amazing high-spirited young bloke, so he will be fine."

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