Matthew Murphy from county Dublin suffered a serious spinal-cord injury while on a boat tour with friends in Cancun.
When diving into the water, he hit a shallow sandbank leaving him with a fracture in his C5 vertebrae.
He underwent an emergency corpectomy spinal surgery in Mexico, and has limited function in his arms, with no control of his triceps, hands or lower body.
With his spinal cord still intact, there is hope he will walk again.
Matthew’s friends set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds to help cover his medical expenses.
“Matt is the most kind, adventurous, fun-loving character,” the page reads.
With almost 5,000 donors, so far it has raised over €185,000.
“A great man for a party who lights up every room. For those who know him, he can be a little stubborn and opinionated, but he always makes it his mission to bring happiness to everyone he meets.”
There is also a raffle with prizes worth over €3,000 that has raised almost €12,000 from ticket buyers so far.
Vouchers, getaways and a 43” TV are among the prizes up for grabs.
Matthew was repatriated to Ireland where he was initially treated at the ICU and at a spinal unit in the Mater Hospital.
He is currently continuing his treatment at the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH).
As the first 12 months of paralysis are vital to recovering bodily functions, he needs to undergo an aggressive treatment regimen that is not currently available in Ireland.
Matthew’s family and friends are currently in the process of applying for more specialist treatments including stem cell, exo-skeleton and bioelectric treatments.
While the family are taking care of his immediate care and adaptations to his home, the aim of the fundraiser is to get the travel enthusiast the best treatment in a bid to get him back on his feet.