Matt Cotton, a 21 year-old American Studies student who is studying on his year abroad, was hit by a car in the the Ingleside neighbourhood of San Francisco. Doctors at San Francisco General Hospital’s trauma unit diagnosed Mr Cotton with a collapsed lung, shattered pelvis, and a bleed on the brain. He was in a coma for more than 72 hours following the incident, but since Thursday has shown some signs of recovery.

Sue Cotton, Mr Cotton’s mother, flew to San Francisco on Wednesday. His family say they are in a “living hell” as they await further news on his condition. 

Mr Cotton plays for UEA’s American football team UEA Pirates. In an Instagram post his teammates wrote: “We have learned of some tough news here at the Pirates. One of our own, Matt Cotton, who is studying abroad in San Francisco this year has been hospitalised following a serious accident in the early hours of Sunday morning which has sadly left him in a serious but stable condition. Matt is a fantastic Running Back for the UEA Pirates and a class man on and off the field. We would like to extend our love, sympathy, and prayers to his family at this time as we wait for further news of his condition. From our Pirates family to yours, we love you Matt and we will be thinking of you.”

The incident has put significant financial pressure on the family. Mr Cotton’s aunt, Jayne Griffith’s, said: “The zeroes on the end of travel insurance figures run out very quickly when you need serious medical care. We all feel completely helpless, and him being so far from home makes it even harder. Matt couldn’t be more loved, he is an extremely popular boy. We are hoping he recovers, but we still don’t know to what extent that will be.”

A fundraising campaign has already raised close to £3,500 to cover the cost of flights back to the UK, and to support Mr Cotton and his family throughout his treatment.

You can support the campaign here.