By Ted Scouten

HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – A Pompano Beach firefighter who has been hospitalized in Indonesia after he was injured while on vacation is back home to continue his recovery.

Michael Hughes arrived in South Florida Thursday morning after a 22-hour flight. About 60 firefighters were there to greet him. He was then taken by ambulance to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood.

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“He’s feeling well, he’s tired, he’s sore, he’s excited to be home and excited to be on U.S. soil,” said Pompano Beach Fire Chief John Jurgle.

Hughes got hurt in a fall while sightseeing.

“Mike was on a vacation and he fell. They were doing some sightseeing, he fell approximately 30 feet, they were visiting an old temple and he fell about 30 feet down a staircase,” said Jurgle.

Hughes’ injuries were severe.

“Mike’s injuries were, he had a severe laceration, which is a cut to his head, he broke multiple ribs, he had a hemopneumo (Hemopneumothorax), which he had blood in the lung space which required surgery, and he fractured five vertebras in his back,” said Jurgle.

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Jurgle tells said Hughes enjoys active vacations. He and some friends were just skiing in Canada and Japan before he went to Bali.

“It was an accident for Mike. Prior to that, he had been snowboarding. He’s somewhat of an adventurist person, which tends to be a trait of firefighters, unfortunately, this was an accident,” said Jurgle.

It wasn’t easy to get Hughes back home. He had to settle his hospital bill and be cleared for travel before coming back.

Family and friends opened a GoFundMe account and raised close to $100,000 in just two and a half weeks. Now his hope is to get back to work once he’s healed.

“He goes about his day in the most positive ways. He loves running calls, loves being here, loves running calls. He loves being a firefighter,” said Pompano Beach Fire Batallion Chief Richard Culpo.

Hughes will now be evaluated by a medical team at Memorial Regional Hospital which will determine if additional surgery is needed.

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He said he’s grateful to be home and thankful for all the support he’s received.

Ted Scouten