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Briton stranded in Thai hospital after balcony fall appealing to return home




A 56 year old Briton is appealing to be repatriated after surviving an attempted suicide, falling from a 6-storey balcony here in Thailand. The family of the man is trying to raise £10,000 to fly him home, after he has been stuck in a Thai hospital recovering from his injuries. He has no insurance, and before the accident, he has suffered from chronic diabetes.

Ian Mitchell-Barnes, known as Barney, is from Solihull in the U.K.’s West Midlands. He broke his pelvis, both arms and both legs in the fall, has already had 1 foot amputated and may be losing the other foot as well. His sister, Jane, says it was “nothing short of a miracle” that her brother survived.

“Thankfully, Barney is being positive about coming home and looking forward to rehabilitation that will restore some semblance of normality for him. He will have to adapt to being disabled as he has had one leg amputated below the knee. Unfortunately, he does require further treatment as his injuries were so catastrophic. He really wants to get home to get a second opinion on the treatment for his remaining foot as the Thai doctors are recommending amputation.”

“He won’t be able to get benefits or be eligible for NHS health care once he’s back at home, but we know that, and are quite prepared to look after him ourselves. We just want him here with his family.”

Jane said the cost of medical repatriation by stretcher on a commercial airline is £16,000, so the family has launched a JustGiving appeal for £10,000. Ian has been living in Thailand since retiring from working for British Airways 5 years ago. When the pandemic hit, he opted to stay in Thailand, despite not having any work or health insurance. His sister said that he has been very isolated in the past 6 months, before his attempted suicide. She says he chose to stay at home and isolate to keep from catching Covid-19. That is apparently when his mental health declined.

In 2000 he married a Thai woman and they lived in Smethwick for 4 years before getting divorced. He returned to the UK a year ago, and also last summer, and had been planning to come home for Christmas. He has a 27 year old son from a past relationship, who lives in London. He also has a 12 year old daughter in the Philippines with a woman in that country.

SOURCE: Birmingham Mail


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  1. Avatar

    Joe Nyomozo

    Friday, April 23, 2021 at 10:07 pm

    Well people like Barney is partially the reason that NOW all tourists have to get a 100,000 USD medical insurance! How was he allowed in to Thailand without insurance? Probably been there for years! Hate to sound mean but after all the damage he has done he might of been better succeeding in his attempt!

  2. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 10:34 am

    “How was he allowed in to Thailand without insurance?”

    Twice, apparently, despite the travel restrictions and ASQ: “He returned to the UK a year ago, and also last summer”.

  3. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 10:56 am

    Reading some background, a very sad story.

    Apparently “According to Barney he is now booked on a flight on Turkish via Istanbul leaving at 11pm this Monday.”

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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