April 9, 2008 : – – Durban – In what can only be described as a freak accident, Quiksilver South Africa’s Dane Patterson suffered a serious neck injury whilst surfing at his beloved Dairy Beach on Sunday.
Patterson, a highly skilled and competitive surfer, hit a very shallow sandbank and suffered a displaced vertebra in his neck, a classic ‘broken neck’ injury. It was Patterson’s good friend and top surfer Dane Logie who dragged him out of the water. “At first I wasn’t sure if he had hit his head on his board or the sand,” said Logie yesterday. “but it must have been the sandbank. The waves were only about three foot, but it was super shallow.”
After realising the extent of his injury, Dane was airlifted in a helicopter to the hospital, where he was placed immediately in ICU. Dane, who had been working flat out on the upcoming Quiksilver Pro Durban surfing event, will be operated on tomorrow (Wednesday).
“He is in good spirits and not in too much pain,” said Quiksilver South Africa’s Greg Swart. “It is a serious injury, but all being good, he is expected to make a full recovery. He is in our prayers right now. There will obviously be a long road of rehab, and he’ll be out of the water for 9 months to a year, but Dane is a strong and fit guy. “
Greg, who has been spending time with Dane in the hospital, got the low-down on Dane’s upcoming surgery from the doctors. “The surgery that Dane will undergo entails a fusion of two vertebras, as well as getting his displaced disc back into alignment,” said Greg. “It is a big operation, but a fairly routine one, so we are all confident that he will be fine.”
With all of Dane’s intense pre-work on the Quiksilver Pro Durban already done, the event is still going to be a smoothly-run event, with the entire Quiksilver South Africa family stepping in to take over Dane’s responsibilities. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dane and the rest of the Patterson family and friends in this difficult time. Hopefully we will see Dane back in the line-up and getting barrelled soon.