A former Arsenal Academy star who had his drink ‘spiked’ on a night out and is now tetraplegic and in need of 24-hour care has recalled the moment he woke up in hospital.
Daniel Cain, now 23, had been a fit and healthy young footballer who was also a qualified electrician until a night out with friends in June 2020 had a tragic ending.
In the early hours of the morning, his friends noticed he had suddenly turned a ‘funny colour’ and was unresponsive before suffering a cardiac arrest.
Daniel’s heart stopped for 24 minutes and he was left in a coma for 25 days, with doctors telling his family there was a likely chance he would not survive the ordeal.
Speaking about the traumatic experience for the first time, Daniel said he has experience a ‘roller coaster’ of emotions but defiantly added: ‘It’s better to look forward rather than dwell on what might have been.’
Daniel Cain, now 23, from Hemel Hemstead, Hertfordshire, had been a fit and healthy young footballer
But he was left tetraplegic after suffering a cardiac arrest after his drink was spiked on a night out
He told Sky News: ‘The two weeks before are just a complete blank. The first thing I remember when I woke up, I had had a dream I was in Barbados.
‘When I woke up (in hospital), it was sunny, so I thought I was in Barbados. Then I found out what had happened.’
But Daniel said he did not want to act like a victim or feel sorry for himself, despite not being able to move his arms or legs and having to receive speech and language therapy.
The former Arsenal youth player spent his 21st birthday alone, but says he ‘had to look at the silver lining and get on with it really’.
Over time, Daniel began to recover his cognitive functions and limited movement and he is now undergoing treatment to help him regain the use of his legs.
He has to attend between four and eight sessions a week, costing more than £24,000 a year for at least three or four years.
His family launched a fundraising campaign to fund his rehabilitation with a £20,000 target, but this has now reached £80,000.
Daniel said: ‘I am really grateful to all these people willing to give up their hard-earned money for me.’
‘The advice from the hospital is that life after an injury isn’t better or worse, it’s just different, and it’s better to look forward rather than dwell on what might have been.’
Over time, Daniel began to recover his cognitive functions and limited movement – his mother said that although his short-term memory had been impacted, his long-term memory is intact. Pictured: Mr Cain as a young boy playing football
Despite the odds, the young man did wake up from his coma, although was initially unable to do anything at all
He is now wheelchair bound and also has limited upper-body movement, meaning he requires full time care
His older sister Natalie said her brother spent two-and-a-half years in various hospitals and care homes, before finally being allowed home in December
His mother Tracey has praised her son’s attitude towards his ordeal and said he has been involved in discussions about a family trip to Barbados upon his recovery.
She said: ‘He is just amazing, he has always been stubborn and determined, if he sets his mind to do something, he will achieve it.
‘He has just carried on, he just keeps getting better and better, he is always so positive, I have never once heard him complain or feel sorry for himself.’
Daniel’s mother said he has been told he has PTSD, depression and anxiety, but that the physio is ‘his happy place’.
His older sister Natalie said her brother spent two-and-a-half years in various hospitals and care homes, before finally being allowed home in December.
He is now wheelchair bound and also has limited upper-body movement, meaning he requires full time care. He is dependent on his family, needing to be hoisted in and out of bed and taken to the bathroom.
He is dependent on his family, needing to be hoisted in and out of bed and taken to the bathroom
Daniel’s mother said he has been told he has PTSD, depression and anxiety, but that the physio is ‘his happy place’
Natalie said: ‘Daniel is incredibly elated and so full of hope at Neurokinex, whilst being assessed and challenged on varying equipment.
‘Let’s keep his spirit and hope alive by ensuring he has the funds to allow for his continuous rehabilitation sessions.
‘With Neurokinex, he can restart his life at the tender age of 23. He will be empowered to return to full physicality and strength, standing alone on his own two feet once again as well as resuming his previous hobbies and beginning a career.’
Donate to Daniel’s GoFundMe campaign here.