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Lipetsk Tourist Breaks Back in Egypt

A 26-year-old Russian tourist from Lipetsk has broken his back after diving into a swimming pool while on vacation in Egypt.

Sergei Priimak's mother, Svetlana, said Tuesday that her son is paralyzed and in the hospital, where medical expenses are costing the family more than $1,000 per day, Interfax reported.

His medical insurance, which all Russians are required to obtain to travel abroad, has refused to cover his costs because traces of alcohol were found in his blood immediately after the diving accident on Oct. 27, his mother said.

Sergei Priimak flew to Egypt to celebrate his birthday, according to Lipetsk media reports. He needs an emergency operation that can only be performed in Moscow, said local news site Pronews48.ru.

It wasn't immediately clear where Priimak had been vacationing in Egypt.

Priimak's family and friends have begun collecting funds to transport him back home and have mounted an online appeal for assistance.

But his mother said she saw hope. "It seems that we are moving forward from a standstill because the Emergency Situations Ministry contacted us today," Svetlana Priimak said.

Two options for returning her son home are currently under discussion: a flight on a regular passenger aircraft or a special aircraft sent by the Emergency Situations Ministry.

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