EXCLUSIVE: Montrealer returns home after being hit by metro in Madrid
POINTE-CLAIRE – It’s been a while since Jason de Belle has been able to laugh.
He recently returned home from a European trip that didn’t quite end the way he expected.
“The second to last day before coming back home, I’m told that I got into an accident,” de Belle told Global News.
“I say ‘I’m told’ because I don’t remember anything from that time.”
WATCH BELOW: Jason de Belle speaks out about his recovery process
De Belle was told he was standing on a platform in Madrid when he got too close to the edge and was struck by an oncoming metro.
“The most painful thing is the three broken ribs, 10 fractured ribs, a punctured lung,” he said.
“My spine was fractured in three different places, but on the same side, luckily.”
The 35-year-old was admitted to Hospital Universitario Clinico San Carlos, where he spent 10 days in a coma.
When he woke up, he underwent lung surgery to facilitate breathing.
As De Belle spent his days in a hospital bed, complete strangers came together back in Montreal to help raise money for his medical bills.
A GoFundMe page was set up and just a few days before Christmas, a musical fundraiser was also organized.
“We don’t struggle, but we have to work at our lives,” said Cliff Oswald, Jason’s stepfather.
“We’ve always managed to take care of things ourselves. To be overwhelmed by something like this is just beyond the pale.”
De Belle said he’s completely overwhelmed by the support.
“I’ve always been a happy and nice person, I’ve made a lot of friends over the years,” he said.
“It’s just unbelievable, it’s heart-wrenching to know that everyone cares so much about you.”
The family still hasn’t received de Belle’s medical bills from the Spanish hospital, but Oswald said they’ll deal with that when the time comes.
For now, he’s just enjoying have his stepson home.
“It’s a relief to have him back home again and worrying about what he’s going to have for supper,” said Oswald.
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