When 15-year-old Lau Wing-cheung broke his neck in a diving accident at Repulse Bay beach, doctors doubted he would survive his first night in hospital. But 'Cheung tsai' (little Cheung), as he is known to his friends, was determined to prove them wrong. The accident left him a quadriplegic - unable to move from the shoulders down - and night after night, he fought for his life with his body racked with infections. Today, four months after the accident, he is still confined to a hospital bed. He doesn't remember what happened on that day in July - he most probably hit his head on the sea bed or a rock - but he will most likely never walk again. Cheung tsai is one of the beneficiaries of this year's Operation Santa Claus appeal. He is hoping donors can buy him a wheelchair, a computer and other equipment his family cannot afford. It was the teenager's fighting spirit that inspired his former doctor, Yi Chung-yiu, to nominate him for the appeal. Dr Yi said he had only ever seen Cheung tsai in despair once. 'When he first went to the orthopaedic ward and saw everyone else walking, he could not help but burst into tears as he was completely immobile,' Dr Yi said. The teenager then calmly asked if euthanasia was legal in Hong Kong and which countries allowed it. However, he has not mentioned euthanasia again and, despite facing a severe disability, Cheung tsai has stayed strong and refuses to admit he is scared. He puts on a brave face in his ward in MacLehose Hospital, Pokfulam, and jokes with staff and other patients. For Christmas, he wants what most of us take for granted - a degree of normality. An air bed would ease the agonising bedsores he has had to endure in hospital beds, while a crane lift would allow him to get in and out of it without help. A chin-controlled electric wheelchair would allow him to move around by himself, and an adapted computer would give him a chance to continue his schooling and communicate with friends. This would also help relieve the boredom of lying in bed all day with only three hours of visiting time. Most importantly, the equipment along with regular physiotherapy, will give him some independence and control over his life, which may be all the determined teenager needs not to lose hope. 'Without these things, I think he will mentally and physically rot in his bed,' Dr Yi said. Meanwhile, Cheung tsai is taking life one step at a time. He now sets himself small goals, such as getting through each infection and each session of physiotherapy.