UPDATE Saturday 10.30am: THE community is rallying behind Gympie man Scott Hoare with his generosity.com page receiving just over $27,000 in donations from 239 individual donors.
Friends and family of the former St Patrick's college student are hoping to raise $100,000 to aid in the fitness coach's recovery after he severely injured his neck diving into the ocean at Sydney's Coogee Beach recently.
To donate visit www.generosity.com."
SURVIVOR and tetraplegic Scott Hoare has escaped death's maw three times since going for a swim at the beach in Sydney on that fateful day last Friday.
He has also celebrated his birthday, been proposed to and told he probably will never walk again nor have full use of his arms.
Instantly paralysed and face down in the surf exactly one week ago, he would have drowned if not for girlfriend Angie Minukos, who dragged him to safety.
Death came knocking two days later, after his surgery, when he was being weaned off life support.
Scott says he felt like he was drowning in his hospital bed. He was unable to breathe or cough due to his paralysed chest muscles, but his airways were clogged and his lungs were still full of seawater.
That sea water and the infection it caused has mostly dissipated now.
"There have definitely been some ups and downs," says dad Mike in what could be the understatement of the year.
"He is pretty inspiring."
The fitness coach and former St Patrick's primary and college student is showing incredible strength of spirit, optimism and courage in the face of what has happened to him.
He is a tetraplegic, which means he has only limited movement in his arms. Nowhere else.
But that's a whole lot more than he had at first, and a reason to hope there will be more improvements.
"I have got to come to terms with my loss of movement," he says.
Incredibly, whether he is able to walk again is not his most immediate priority.
He is focused on maintaining his "A" average at his studies, which he needs in order to be accepted into a physiotherapy degree, and on being motivated to do the best he can with what he has got.
Achieving that physio degree and helping people who are able to move their bodies is the end game.
The outpouring of support that has flooded in to Scott and his family, dad Mike, mum Sue and sister Kali, has blown them all away. There have already been 2000 shares of the Facebook page where Scott has begun his blog, and a crowdfunding page has already raise more than $23,000 to help meet the cost on Scott's recovery.
"I did not even realise that I meant that much to these people I have met. I would not have known if I had not done this."
This has obviously truly touched Scott.
"My life has not ended. It has just changed," he says.
"Everyone has hope that I will walk again and if that happens it happens. But I am focusing on the motivation of doing the best with what I have got. If walking happens it happens. But I am not going to be bummed if it doesn't."
Scott will spend the next 12 months in the spinal ward of Sydney's Prince of Wales Hospital.
EARLIER: IT TOOK a split second for Gympie son Scott Hoare's life to change forever.
The popular former St Patrick's primary school and college student was swimming in the surf at Coogee Beach in Sydney eight days ago when he hit his head on a sandbank and broke his neck.
Instantly and completely paralysed but conscious and face-down in the water, Scott thought he was going to drown; and he most likely would have if not for the frantic efforts of his girlfriend Angie, who had been swimming in the surf with him and dragged him to the beach.
A nurse was also swimming nearby and helped stabilise Scott on the sand before lifeguards arrived and then paramedics.
After an extremely tense hour on the shoreline with the tide coming in, Scott was stretchered off the beach by seven people and transported to Prince of Wales emergency room.
He immediately underwent surgery to remove the fractured C5 vertebrae impinging his spinal cord. Before he went in for the surgery, the surgeon told Scott they had just discovered his spinal cord was not severed, but it was severely bruised and inflamed.
When the surgeon asked Scott if he was ready, he responded, "Let's do this".
His C5 was replaced with bone from his right hip along with a metal plate and stabilising screws.
After two separate surgeries, one from the front and one from the back of his neck, Scott was admitted into the Intensive Care Unit after his six-hour operation.
He remained on life support for 24 hours to assist his breathing.
Angie was by his side for the entire event and slept at the hospital awaiting the results of his surgery.
At 6am last Sunday, Scott was weaned off his sedation but remained on life support, with Angie still by his side.
"He was scared and anxious, yet brave and strong at the same time," writes the mate who has helped set up the social media site #liftwithscott Help a Coach Move Again Scott, where people can make a donation to help fund the physio and other therapy Scott is going to need.
"He could not talk or move, with facial expressions being his only movement capacity," writes his mate.
Scott is a tetraplegic and his future is uncertain, though there have been some promising signs since his surgery.
Almost 200 donors have already pledged more than $21,000 in less than 24 hours - 21% of the goal of $100,000.
READ THE HEARTFELT MESSAGE FROM SCOTT'S GOOD FRIEND ABOUT THE TRAGIC ACCIDENT:
You hear about it every once and a while - someone is involved in a freak accident that defies rhyme or reason.
You might ponder what it would be like to be in a traumatic accident; but as quickly as the thought comes, it slips away, and we get on with what we have to do.
And that's okay, that's happened to me many times.
This time was different.
It was only a week ago I was watching one of my best mates work and I was in awe - he blended the science of physical training and the art of inspiration in a way I had never seen a coach or personal trainer work before.
He had transcended the 'good job' or 'nice work' remarks that usually echo on the gym floor from most trainers. Scott beamed with an energy, positivity and passion that uplifted and inspired everyone around him.
He was, and still is, the Da Vinci of performance coaching.
As I write this, I still feel his energy and his passion, but I don't have the luxury any more of turning up to work with him there.
Last week, that distant, disconnected story of someone having a tragic accident hit home.
This time, it happened to my great mate, Scott.
A friend to many, a coach to a lucky few, an incredible boyfriend to Angie, supportive brother to Kali, and beautiful son to Mike and Sue.
In an instant, Scott went from enjoying a hot summer Friday at Coogee Beach in Sydney Australia, to being completely paralysed, motionless underwater, knowing he was drowning, but not being able to do anything about it. He had unknowingly hit a sandbar as he dove to break a wave.
I can only imagine what that moment would have felt like.
In an instant, he had lost the things that mattered to him the most: his ability to move.
It was Scott's birthday yesterday; a stark reminder that life, in a lot of respects, was starting again.
Scott has a gift.
A gift the rest of the coaching community could never replicate, but will always try an emulate.
He has an unshakable will, a passion for life, and an obsession for movement.
This campaign is dedicated to providing him with the care and support he will need to return him to full health.
It's dedicated to Angie, a passionate mover in her own right. Her life is on hold too, while Scott recovers. Together, they have a dream of opening their own training facility to inspire others to embrace the joy in movement.
We want to raise $100,000 AUD for Scott and Angie.
This would give him the physiotherapy and specialist care he needs to start the journey to a full recovery. It's a high benchmark, fitting for someone like Scott who only sets the highest standards to live and train by.
Everything the universe is telling me points to Scott making a full recovery, and changing the world in the process.
If for a moment, you can be truly selfless, give to a man who has lost something that most likely resonates with you - your movement, freedom and independence.
Give a little to him, so he can give back to the world.