THE family of a Peeblesshire man involved in a tragic accident with life-changing consequences are raising money in the hopes of bringing him home.

Michael Wells’ life “changed in an instant” when he visited Hungary in September for a family wedding.

Just two weeks before he was due to start a career as an electrical engineer, the 28-year-old, from West Linton, dived from a paddleboard into shallow water and broke his neck, leaving him paralysed from the neck down.

Michael’s sister Seòna and twin brother David set up a fundraiser to safeguard his future which exceeded its £80,000 target within a matter of weeks.

He is currently receiving treatment at the National Spinal Injuries Unit at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow, but he and his family have their eyes set on him coming home.

“He’s been doing amazing,” his sister Seòna told us. “I think it gives him strength knowing he has this support to keep on fighting and get to the point where he is well enough to come home, which is looking more likely day by day.

“He’s doing really well. He’s been off of the ventilator for a week now, his breathing’s been really good.

“He’s making a lot of progress.”

Michael had been paddleboarding at Lake Balaton with his family on September 4, when he took a small dive into the water, not realising it was too shallow.

He later told his family that he had “heard and felt his neck break” when he hit the bottom of the lake.

Peeblesshire News: Michael on a trip to the west coastMichael on a trip to the west coast (Image: Seona Wells)

Michael’s dad, Andy, and uncle Steve helped get him to shore and provided CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation before an air ambulance arrived.

He is paralysed from the neck down and will require additional support when he returns to his family home.

In order to prepare their property, the family have been raising money to cover the costs of various equipment and support to ensure Michael has the best quality of life out of hospital.

Seòna created a GoFundMe page for Michael in October, and the page has already beaten its target of £80,000 – the total at the time of publication is £84,430.

She said: “It was really overwhelming for him, he got really emotional, it meant the world to him. He knew I was going to set up a fundraising page, and gave me permission to do it but he initially didn’t really want to know about it because it would be a bit much.

“It’s not even about the money really, it’s just knowing how many people care about him.

“Just knowing so many people have got his back and still want to be part of his life.”

Peeblesshire News: Artist Heather McLellan with 'Micheil' the coo Artist Heather McLellan with 'Micheil' the coo (Image: Seona Wells)

And others in the West Linton community have come out offering other ways to raise money.

Local artist Heather McLellan has donated a custom painting of a Highland cow to be auctioned off in support of the Wells family.

Every ‘coo’ that Heather paints is named, and this latest creation is called Micheil – the Gaelic spelling of Michael.

Heather said: “I thought it’s one thing to put money into their fundraiser, but if I did a painting it will bring them more money than I could pop in.

“People care, and what’s happened to Michael is just tragic.”

Heather has also offered the family the use of the image for any other fundraising they wish to do.

Her painting can be viewed at Whitmuir Farm, and is up for auction online, where it has already raised more than £700.

To donate to Michael’s fundraiser, visit:

Or if you would like to make a bid on Heather’s painting, visit: