Former Arsenal academy player, 23, left tetraplegic and needing round-the-clock care after drink 'spiked' on night out

22 April 2023, 16:19 | Updated: 23 April 2023, 02:04

Former Arsenal academy player Daniel Cain was left a tetraplegic and in need of 24-hour care after his drink was "spiked" on a night out.
Former Arsenal academy player Daniel Cain was left a tetraplegic and in need of 24-hour care after his drink was "spiked" on a night out. Picture: GoFundMe

By Chris Samuel

A former Arsenal academy player was left tetraplegic and requiring round-the-clock care after his drink was "spiked" on a night out.

Daniel Cain had been a fit and healthy footballer who had played for the academy development centres of Barnet FC and Premier League side Arsenal.

But on June 9, 2020 the 23-year-old suffered a “life-changing travesty” during a night out with friends as a cardiac arrest starved his brain of oxygen.

Daniel's friends noticed that he looked a "funny colour" and was not waking up so they attempted to perform CPR while they waited for paramedics to arrive.

When they made it to Daniel, the ambulance team had to work on him for 24 minutes until they finally managed to get his heart beating again.

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After being taken to hospital Daniel spent 25 days in a coma, and doctors informed his loved ones that, even if he did regain consciousness, he would be in be vegetative state.

His mother Tracy Cain told The Independent: “When I found out I just went into automatic mum mode. I phoned his father who was at work and his sister came back from Essex.

After being taken to hospital, Daniel spent 25 days in a coma
After being taken to hospital, Daniel spent 25 days in a coma. Picture: GoFundMe

"At around 3-4am in the morning, they tried to prepare us that he was not going to wake up but I said to keep trying. I wasn’t going to accept he wasn’t going to come around.”

After over three weeks, Daniel did come round, but initially was unable move.

“When he woke up he couldn’t do anything, he couldn’t move - he was like a newborn but nurses said he was following them with his eyes, so they said there was 'someone in there,'" Tracey said.

Daniel is now back at home, having spent two-and-a-half years at different hospitals and care homes.

Daniel now needs round-the-clock care and uses a wheelchair
Daniel now needs round-the-clock care and uses a wheelchair. Picture: GoFundMe

He now requires 24-hour care and uses a wheelchair. Tracy confirmed that, though her son's short-term memory was affected, his long-term memory is intact.

“He’s gradually coming back and is improving all the time,” she said. “His long-term memory, things from childhood, he still remembers all that.”

“Again because I’m his mum, I’m just going to take it on board and do what I can, but it was a real strain.

"Because of Covid I wasn’t really allowed into the hospital to learn from the nurses about different things like lifting and handling and with spinal cord injuries, there are things like bowel and bladder management and the skin is also very sensitive. It was just a complete lifestyle change.”

Daniel had played for the development centres of Barnet FC and Arsenal
Daniel had played for the development centres of Barnet FC and Arsenal. Picture: GoFundMe

Daniel now has the opportunity to walk and stand again thanks to an organisation called Neurokinex, which offered him intensive rehabilitation therapy.

But the treatment is only partly funded by the NHS and costs more than £60 per hour, which amounts to between £1,008 to £2,016 per month.

His family have set up a GoFundMe page to help finance the treatment, which has raised over £13,000 so far.

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