Sidmouth sends support to Rome fall victim

PUBLISHED: 12:59 11 June 2010 | UPDATED: 14:04 18 June 2010

MESSAGES of support from the community have been sent to the family of a Sidmouth man who was in a critical condition yesterday after falling from a third-floor window in Rome.

MESSAGES of support from the community have been sent to the family of a Sidmouth man who was in a critical condition yesterday after falling from a third-floor window in Rome.

Sam Cummins, 22, was rushed to hospital suffering from severe injuries following the 50 foot plummet from the M&J Place Hostel in the early hours of Monday.

His mum Fiona, of Lennox Avenue, and her friend Mike Ford, flew out on Tuesday to be at his bedside.

Sam's grandmother, Alison Marchant, told the Herald on Wednesday: "He is stable. Fiona has only seen him a couple of times and because of visiting hours she can only see him for an hour or so."

Sam's older sister, Sasha, has stayed at home with the rest of the family.

Mrs Marchant said: "The whole family is thinking of him but we wish we could be out there."

The civil engineering student flew out to Rome last Sunday for a week's holiday.

"He had just finished a term at university and he was due to take a job placement in two weeks before continuing his studies at Exeter University," added Mrs Marchant.

"He decided to go to Rome to get some of the culture and was travelling alone."

Police in the Italian capital quizzed the seven people Sam was sharing a room with at the hostel to find out how he fell.

Mrs Marchant said that contrary to other reports, Sam was not caught up in an incident at the hostel earlier in the evening when police were called out.

"The police have confirmed it was a tragic accident and he was not involved in any of the previous problems that have been reported," she said.

Sidmouth residents have rallied round and sent kind messages to keen rugby player Sam, whose father Tim died of cancer in 2008.

Robert Bough, manager of Sidmouth Rugby Football Club's second team, said: "We are very shocked and our thoughts are with the family.

"Sam is a popular, reliable, nice lad, and a talented rugby player. He's a Sidmouth lad through and through and came up through the junior ranks."

Adam Howe, a friend of Sam, said: "I played rugby with him and we both went to Sidmouth College - he's just a normal lad, popular and outgoing."

He added: "Hope you get well soon mate."

Julie Capewell, senior vice-principal of Sidmouth College, said: "Whilst at the college Sam was a most popular student here and made the most of his time at college.

"We are extremely upset to hear the news and our thought are with him and his family and we wish him a speedy recovery."

Mrs Marchant said: "There have been lots of kind people with kind messages and I would like to thank everyone for their support on Fiona's behalf."

A spokesperson for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office yesterday said Sam was still in a critical condition in Umberto I Rome Hospital.

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