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Online appeal launched to fly home elderly British man taken seriously ill in Korat

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Gary's daughter Vanessa shared this picture of Gary in his Thailand hospital saying he'd "aged 15 years in a week" 

(Image: JustGiving)


The family of a British man seriously ill in hospital in Korat have launched an online appeal to help with his return to the UK.


Gary Short, 73, from Gloucester, had been stuck in Thailand due to the pandemic when he suffered a stroke on June 7.


Mr Short has been left with paralysis of his right side and cannot speak or swallow. 


He initially had travel insurance but that has since expired and was unable to renew it due to his age, Gloucester Live reported.


Now Mr Short’s daughters have launched an online appeal to help pay for his treatment and to fly him back to the UK.


The family hope to raise £20,000 but have been told by the Foreign Office the cost for Mr Short to return to the UK could be as much as £80,000.


Speaking to Gloucestershire Live, daughter Vanessa said: "Dad did have insurance initially but it lapsed and when he tried to get it re-issued they wouldn’t insure him because of his age and his medical conditions (co-morbidities)”. 


“With Covid he didn’t come back and it was safer there than here as their cases were so low, and has a good circle of English friends out there helping us through this. It’s a very complicated situation. Believe me we have tried every which way."


Vanessa said her and sister Tracy have been able to see their father via video link and have been given hope by the bit of progress their father seems to be making.


Writing on the JustGiving page, Mr Short’s daughters said: “Of course our first thoughts were to go to Thailand, but we have been advised by the Foreign Office not to go. Thailand still have rules in place that any visitor must isolate for 14 days, and we are unable to bring him back ourselves due to his medical condition.


“We are desperate to get our father back to the UK so he can receive the medical palliative care he would require for his future recuperation from the stroke. He needs to return to the UK so he can get the care he needs and be reunited with his family and friends. It may seem that the sum we are attempting to raise is insurmountable, and it is a huge sum to reach, but we are trying everything we can to help our dad”.


-- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2021-06-19
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.......and that's the result of "self-insuring".

Unless I read it wrong, he did have Travel Insurance which lapsed and the company refused to renew it.

Sorry I do not understand, he can get very good treatment here

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18 minutes ago, clivebaxter said:

Could cost 80k quid to get him home, better spend it on treatment here.

They don't have that money, the only way for him to get home is by donations if you read the article. The donations will be for just that, not to allow him to stay in Thailand without family support but with what possibly will be a need for permanent care and hospitalisation.

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2 minutes ago, Denim said:


I think the 80,000 baht figure is misleading. This would be for a private jet with nursing staff all the way !!


He is shown sitting on a bed.  Could he also sit on a chair or a car seat ?

Could a couple of friends  not take care of the relevant paperwork ( covid check ) then drive him to the airport, get him in a wheelchair and push him to check in on a business class seat ( more room ). Airlines have staff that regularly take non walking passengers to the aircraft and get them seated ( I used to do this when working for BA )


I agree the above suggestion is only theoretical but surely the figure ( the very round figure ) represents flying home with the best of everything not just getting the poor man home. As soon as the flight landed in the UK he would be met by airline staff and taken through immigration ( done this hundreds of times for wheelchair bound passengers ) so a cheaper option must surely be possible.


When I worked for BA I often had to take such passengers right to the taxi rank and help them into a taxi !!


Where there is a will there is a way.

Most helpful thank you. Alternatively, I understand that it is possible to travel by rail between UK and Singapore (Singapore being the furthest continental land mass with a rail connection). As you say, where there is a will there is a way!

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38 minutes ago, clivebaxter said:

what's wrong with using donations for hospital care here rather than wasting it all on transport home?

No idea but the appeal was not for that, it was for emergency transportation so I guess as they have appealed for donations to fly him home, then use it for a different purpose perhaps some of the donors will be upset the the money was raised under false pretences. But if you think that is an ok thing to do then why not get in touch with them and suggest it.

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2 minutes ago, Excel said:

The FCO , if you read the article, as advised against them flying to Thailand. That means their own insurance would be null and void should they contract anything whilst here due to the covid situation not being controlled I suspect.

Yeah...I know...but it's your father....not the time to listen to others...just the time to do what's right. At the very least, hire a care manager private nurse to make sure he is getting needed care.

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3 minutes ago, tonray said:

Yeah...I know...but it's your father....not the time to listen to others...just the time to do what's right. At the very least, hire a care manager private nurse to make sure he is getting needed care.

But if they have no money for his flight I doubt they would have money for hiring anyone either.

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