Australian man, paralyzed after Outer Banks accident, returns home after 3 months

Gilbert Sahyoun. (Sentara)

NORFOLK, Va. – After nearly three months of treatment at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, Sydney, Australia man Gilbert Sahyoun was able to return home.

In August, Sahyoun traveled nearly 10,000 miles from Sydney to the Outer Banks in North Carolina for a family reunion. According to a release by Sentara, it was there that he dove into the Pamlico Sound to join his family in a game of catch and shattered part of his spine.

Due to the accident, Sahyoun is now quadriplegic, paralyzed from the chest down and without use of his hands. Family and friends started a GoFundMe on his behalf to help pay for his medical flight back to Australia.

In mid-October, Sahyoun and his team at Sentara Norfolk learned that enough money had been raised for the return trip home and began the process of getting ready for a hand-off of care from Sentara to Sahyoun’s hometown.

According to a release by Sentara, Sahyoun arrived home early Thursday morning — and was greeted with a large grin and a warm hug by his Uncle Charles at the airport.