Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

McQuillan stays positive

Echuca footballer James McQuillan has been transferred to the Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre where he continues to recover from a spinal injury.

GEORDIE COWAN May 2, 2014 3:04am

James McQuillan and girlfriend Kathryn James. Photo: submitted


Injured Echuca footballer James McQuillan is maintaining a positive outlook as he continues his rehabilitation from a spinal injury.

The 20-year-old was transferred from the spinal unit at the Austin Hospital to the Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre in Melbourne on Tuesday.

In a statement, McQuillan thanked everyone for their support and best wishes.

‘‘I’m determined to get stuck into my rehabilitation and my main goal is to complete my physiotherapy degree, however long it takes,’’ he said.

‘‘I had a really great day last Friday watching the Anzac Day footy with close friends and family.

‘‘It’s been nice to have some normality after everything that has happened.

‘‘My spirits are high and I continue to hope for the best. Thanks so much to everyone.’’

McQuillan suffered a serious spinal cord injury while playing for Albury in the Ovens and Murray Football League during a routine collision with a Yarrawonga opponent on April 5.

The extent of his diagnosed quadriplegia will not be known for several months.

The McQuillan family said it had been a traumatic time in the past three weeks.

‘‘Scans revealed James had sustained an unstable fracture of his C5 vertebrae, which had compressed and damaged the spinal cord,’’ the family said in a statement.

He had surgery the following morning to decompress the spinal cord and stabilise his neck to prevent further damage.

McQuillan is expected to remain in Melbourne for at least six months and the family said it was overwhelmed with the support from the community at large.

‘‘While we continue to hope for the best, the full ramifications of James’ diagnosed quadriplegia will not be known for some time,’’ the statement said.

‘‘The staff at the Austin Hospital have been exceptional in their care and treatment of James.

‘‘We are truly thankful to James’ girlfriend Kathryn and her parents Craig and Heather (James) for their love and support, as well as our extended network of family and friends.

‘‘We are also continually overwhelmed at the support shown from not only the football community, but also those who do not know James, but have been concerned by his injury.

‘‘James remains optimistic and in good spirits.

‘‘His positive attitude and motivation do not come as a surprise to those who know James well and these attributes will be of great benefit to him as he persists with rehabilitation.’’

To help support James on his road to recovery, visit

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