A former Erie man now living in Bali who fell from a roof while chasing a monkey that had stolen his favorite Pittsburgh Steelers cap will have surgery.
Jeff "Swede" Swedenhjelm, who moved to Florida 17 years ago before relocating to Bali, fell 33 feet on Monday.
"He's like, 'That's my hat, I need it,'" his daughter, Lyric, told Channel 11 in an interview. "And you know Steelers Nation is everywhere, but in Bali, it's a lot harder to come by, to buy a new hat, so he wasn't going to let it go very easily.
Villagers took him to a local hospital, where he was diagnosed with severe damage to his spinal cord. He currently is paralyzed from the chest down.
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Lyric Swedenhjelm, who lives in Destin, Florida, posted an update on her Facebook page Sunday saying her dad is now in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and should be getting surgery in the next two days.
She thanked everyone for their help and said doctors will replace the C6 and C7 vertebrae with titanium vertebrae and relieve the pressure from her father's spinal cord.
"We are just really hopeful and trying to stay positive," Lyric told Channel 11. "My dad was the most optimistic person that you'll ever meet, so we just try to keep a sweet attitude and just say that it will all work out. and things will come if we work for them."
The family has started a fundraising page on GoFundMe, which has already raised more than $71,000 by Sunday night.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Cox Media Group