A PONTYPOOL dad-of-two who broke his neck in a freak accident on holiday in September was able to spend Christmas at home with his family.

Christopher Watkins, 43, suffered life-changing injuries while diving into a swimming pool in Tenerife.

He was placed in an induced coma after the tragedy at the island's Aparthotel Columbus in Playa de las Americas.


He was flown back home in an air ambulance in October after a GoFundMe page, set up by his sister Nadia Hopkins, raised almost £24,000, and a raffle organised by the ‘Get Christopher Home’ Facebook group raised £2,000.

Mr Watkins was being treated in Carmarthen after returning to Wales, but was then transferred to the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport.

“As a family we’d like to thank each and every one of you for your kindness and support during this heart-breaking time in our lives,” Mr Watkins’ family said in a statement upon his return.

“Chris has been transferred from hospital in Carmarthen to the Royal Gwent.

“Initially the prognosis for Chris was devastating but, he is doing well he can move both arms and feet. His tracheostomy has been removed after showing he could breathe on his own which has defied all the odds.

“He has started physiotherapy; Chris is a very strong boy and with the love of his family and friends he can do this.

“He has been eating really well and has asked for a beer and a pizza.”

Mr Watkins took his first steps on November 30, Ms Hopkins told The Sun, after his family feared he would have been wheelchair-bound for the rest of his life.

He was allowed to return home for two weeks over Christmas - the first time he has returned home since the accident - before he undergoes a rehabilitation programme at the Rockwood Hospital in Cardiff.