Valentine’s Day tragedy

Westpac Rescue Helicopter.
Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

A couples retreat on Valentine’s Day turned into tragedy as an Eungai Creek local broke his neck in two places and may never walk again.

On Tuesday February 14, Jake Tasker was on a houseboat on the Nambucca River with his girlfriend and another couple when he heard screams.

The 28-year-old noticed his friend face down in the water and immediately dove into the water to help.

However, Mr Tasker hit a sandbar, which had rendered his friend unconscious, and the impact broke Mr Tasker’s neck in two places.

Westpac Rescue Helicopter flew him to Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane where he was operated on for 10 hours before being put into an induced coma.

Mr Tasker was brought out of the induced coma on Wednesday and was informed of the extent of the injuries he sustained.

Westpac bank manager in Kempsey Tracy Van Leeuwen says Mr Tasker has remained in great spirits.

“He has already said he is determined to walk again and has a good attitude,” Ms Van Leeuwen said.

Mr Tasker’s mother Ali has worked for Westpac for more than 20 years and spent the majority of her career at the Kempsey branch.

Ms Van Leeuwen and colleague Joanne Benney have set up a page to help support the family financially. 

You can help Mr Tasker by making a donation at the following link:

Ms Van Leeuwen and Ms Benney will hold a fundraiser on Wednesday March 1 at the Westpac Kempsey branch with a barbecue and everyone in the community is invited to participate.

This story Valentine’s Day tragedy first appeared on The Macleay Argus.