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UK backpacker needs 1.5 million baht for hospital bills and to fly home

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24 year old Sophie Wilson, who has broken her neck in an accident, remains in a Chiang Mai hospital and has to pay £60,000 for hospital bills and to fly back to the UK.

inews.co.uk reports that Sophie was injured after diving into a swimming pool and misjudging the depth. She was fished out of the water on December 1 by a fellow traveller. She was then rushed to hospital, unable to move or feel her legs.

Her head wound was stitched up at a local hospital and then was transported to another hospital “in agony” without any pain relief, she claimed.

Her family say it was “touch and go’” whether she would survive. Her parents, John and Jane, flew to Thailand immediately. When they arrived they were told that Sophie would likely never walk again.

The former UK coffee shop manager has now had two successful surgeries and is making progress. She is now able to move one arm and is breathing on her own, but she still cannot move her legs.

Sophie’s medical bills have so far come to 1,556,000 baht (£37,600). Adding the cost of flying her home with medical support will come to around £60,000.

Her family have launched a GoFundMe appeal in a desperate bid to raise the amount and get her back home.

She had taken out travel insurance but she said the firm has refused to pay out because they deemed her injuries were a result of “a reckless act”.

“It is heartbreaking as I previously led a very active life style and the doubt of whether I will be able to walk again is hard to take, “ said Sophie from her hospital bed.

“But I believe that being negative will only make things harder. I’m lucky to still be here.”

“Initially I was in shock, I never had any reason to believe the pool to have been so shallow as people were jumping and diving in before me. I never lost consciousness. I couldn’t feel my body, just excruciating pain in my neck. I remember saying that I couldn’t feel my legs.”

When she was moved to the Chiang Mai Ram Hospital, Sophie’s friends claim the hospital would not perform surgery until Sophie’s family had guaranteed payment.

The Wilson family were able to arrange the guarantee and Sophie had two operations that took a total of 10 hours, which are said to have maximised her chances of recovery.

“I had no idea I was in a private hospital until around five days into being here,” said Sophie, who explained it’s hard to understand her doctors because of the language barrier.

“Insure and Go (the insurers) sent an investigator to my hospital bed and then told me they wouldn’t pay because my diving was a reckless act.

Sophie’s sister Georgina, a 25 year old PE teacher, who set up the fundraising page, told I that her sister was “the bravest” person she knows.

“She’s is so happy and bubbly and still smiling despite what’s happened to her.”

UK backpacker needs 1.5 million baht for hospital bills and to fly home | News by Thaiger

PHOTO: Sophie Wilson

SOURCE: inews.co.uk

 

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