Snowboard jump lands Morgan a smashed jaw
HE WAS raised on a sporting diet of surfing and skateboarding but Morgan Winston's dream is to become a professional ice hockey player.
That dream is on hold while the Wurtulla man sits in a Canadian hospital waiting for surgery to repair a badly broken upper jaw.
Ironically, it wasn't the notoriously rough sport which put him in hospital but an accident pursuing one of his other passions - snowboarding - which left him battered and broken.
To make matters worse, the 24-year-old's insurance company is so far refusing to pay for his surgery, leaving him in unbearable pain for the past five days.
Now Morgan's friends have banded together to help raise the $20,000 he needs to have the operation without his insurance money.
One of them is Matthew Rhodes, who went to Caloundra High with Morgan and describes him as "just a top bloke".
He heard the bad news from Morgan's girlfriend, Megan, soon after Sunday's accident.
His mate had attempted a jump that went wrong and his knee slammed into his chin, fracturing his maxilla.
"He's in a pretty bad way - he's hooked up to a morphine drip and can't talk properly," Matthew said.
"I've been talking directly to Megan because he's pretty messed up at the moment.
"She said he just did a big jump and landed wrong, so his face slammed into his knee."
Raised on the Coast and a keen surfer and skateboarder, Morgan discovered ice hockey late in life.
But he instantly fell in love with the Canadian national sport.
He joined the Brisbane-based Sea Dogs club and began travelling to the city several times a week for training and games.
"He loves his hockey and is very committed to it," Matthew said.
"He's really good at most sports - surfing, skating, snowboarding.
"He's not a drinker or a party guy.
"He's the sort of bloke who never stops. He's up early in the morning to do stuff and keeps going all day.
"He can't sit still."
Morgan's father Dave, a Sunshine Coast builder, said he was speaking to his son every day and he appeared to be holding up well.
He believed his son's insurance company had wanted to fly him home but that was impossible because of his injuries.
"He's in a fair bit of pain but Megan is there with him," he said.
"He seems to be coping okay."
Mr Winston said he was amazed the young man's friends had thrown their support behind the fundraiser and was waiting to see how much he would have to contribute personally to make the surgery possible.
Then he would be taking legal action to get money from the insurer.
Thankfully, he didn't think the injury would have an impact on Morgan's ice hockey career, which was taking off slowly.
"He's playing in what they call the Beer League - sort of second division. He's not setting the world on fire but he's living the dream."
If you would like to help Morgan visit the GoFundMe page.