Couple Phillipa Escott and Craig Cooke who are expecting their first baby.

A campaign has been launched to help support a father-to-be who has been left in a coma following a car crash.

Craig Cooke, 27, was airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge after the black Audi he was a passenger in left the road and hit a tree in Lynn Road, Castle Rising.

Mr Cooke suffered bleeding on the brain, 12 fractured ribs, two collapsed lungs, a broken arm and leg, and tears to his spleen and kidney.

The driver was left with minor injuries following the incident which happened on Monday at around 7.40pm.

Mr Cooke lives in Reffley, King’s Lynn with his fiancée Phillipa Escott, 27, and they are expecting their first child on Christmas Day.

On Tuesday, best friend Paul Malcolm launched a campaign to raise funds to support the couple.

It is expected Mr Cooke, who works for Optima Stainless on Lynn’s Hardwick Narrows Industrial Estate, will be in hospital for at least a month and then need further recovery time at home.

Mr Malcolm, 32, explained: “Last month Phillipa and Craig bought their first home and they now have a mortgage. 

“Phillipa is also off work as she is constantly by Craig’s bedside and I wanted to make sure they are covered, as worrying about the mortgage and bills is the last thing they need.

“I think the road ahead is going to be long and the money will help with travelling costs to Addenbrooke’s. They are thinking they might need to get a bed for downstairs as Craig recovers and other bits during his rehabilitation.”

Less than two days after setting up the online fundraising page, the initial target of £2,000 was reached.

“That’s when you see a grown man cry. I burst into tears when I saw how much had been donated, it blew me away,” said Mr Malcolm.

“Phillipa knows about it and she has been absolutely overwhelmed with the support. We are all so grateful for the support everyone has shown.”

Mr Malcolm said family and friends have rallied to help drive Miss Escott to the hospital. 

He said: “We’re all helping her as it’s a long old way to Addenbrooke’s in her condition.”

Mr Malcolm, who works in a bank, said he has known his best friend for years.

“I met him when I opened his first bank account for him when he was a young lad in his teens.”

He added: “He is one of the nicest guys I know, he would do anything for anyone.” 

Police are keen to speak to anyone who saw what happened, particularly the way the car was being driven before the crash or has dashcam footage. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Chris Bradley on 101.

To make a donation for Craig and Phillipa visit www.gofundme.com/support-craig

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