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An Australian paraglider who was left quadriplegic when his parachute collapsed after take-off has relived the terrifying moment he completely severed his spine.
Alex Yaschenko, from Brunswick in Melbourne, was in Pakistan's Hunza Valley for an international competition when his chute malfunctioned, sending him plummeting to the rocky ground below.
More than $128,000 was raised online for Mr Yaschenko's medical treatment and for him to be flown back to Australia, but he now no longer has any feeling or movement below the shoulders.
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'It was a freak accident - the ground was very rocky and steep,' the experienced paraglider told the.
'I landed on the rock at a bad angle and broke my neck. It was an unfortunate series of coincidences - a really bad accident.'
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Mr Yaschenko, 49, said life was completely different now he can do very little by himself.
'I'm just a head on this body with no control. We're trying to work out how to move forward,' he said.
Immediately following the accident, he was taken to a local Pakistani hospital before being flown to a larger regional hospital.
Although the doctors spoke little English, Mr Yascenko's partner Maggie Webb said a group of locals helped them through the difficult time before he was flown back to Melbourne.
The 49-year-old does still have some movement on his left side, and will at some point be transferred to a wheelchair which will increase his mobility.
In the wake of Mr Yaschenko's devastating injury, apage was launched to raise the hefty $150,000 bill to bring him home to Australia.
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Although the experienced paraglider had taken out travel insurance for his trip, it wasn't enough to cover the cost of an air ambulance to bring him back to Australia.
'Alex's injuries have been diagnosed as tetraplegia, which means he is currently paralysed from the waist down with limited function in his arms,' the page, created by his friend Kirsten Seeto and his partner, said at the time.
'To give him the best chance of recovery it is critical he is repatriated back to his family as soon as possible.'
Since then, though, Mr Yaschenko has revealed he no longer has feeling between his neck and his waist.
The page's creators were desperate to raise the money as the next available ambulance was due to leave on Wednesday night.
'Alex is a very relaxed person - always quick to help mates out, always lead by his strong moral compass,' Ms Seeto and Ms Webb wrote on the page.
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