Despite suffering serious spinal injuries during a freak surfing accident in South Africa last weekend, well-known local businessman Mick Daniels is hoping to be at home in Kilotteran by next week.
Fifty-five year-old Mick, who founded the Slushee-brand iced drink, was surfing at the luxurious South African resort of Plettenberg Bay, when a plunging wave dragged him out of the surf and slammed him to the ocean floor, causing a cervical spinal fracture. Two teenage boys who were swimming nearby quickly came to his aid, as did two doctors and a nurse, who were on holiday at the resort.
Mick had been enjoying a family holiday in South Africa with his wife Margaret, sons Eoin and Michael and daughter Keira.
Although conscious throughout the ordeal, Mr Daniels initially suffered paralysis which is common in such injuries. He has since regained feeling in his legs, though he is still suffering from serious neck injuries. He remains in a critical condition in a local hospital, though his family are hopeful that he may be well enough to travel home next week. However he will have to wear a neck brace to support his neck for several months.
Mick, son of the late Waterford midwife Madge Daniels, is originally from the Cork Road. He founded Michael Daniels Industrial and Commercial Refrigeration when he was just 21 years old and worked as a refrigeration engineer until 1987. In more recent years he set up the Slushee iced drink label, which shot to international fame in 2003 when it appeared in the movie Dumb and Dumberer. The company has been, and continues to be, extremely successful in the area of product placement. Films with Slushee ‘Chilled Out’ product placements have grossed over one billion US dollars worldwide to date.