‘Buy insurance’ urges English tourist who crashed moped through window in Thailand

Photo via Emma Lewis

A young Englishwoman urges tourists to take out travel insurance after crashing a moped through a glass window in Koh Pha Ngan in southern Thailand.

Emma Lewis, a 24 year old student from Basingstoke in Hampshire, was en route to go snorkelling on the island paradise when she lost control and crashed into a house window.

The glass shattered around her body leaving her in need of 56 stitches and a skin graft.

The young backpacker sliced her face open and sustained severed tendons in her right foot, and deep cuts on her left shoulder, right thigh, and right knee.

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A taxi driver got Emma to a local medical clinic where she was X-rayed and wrapped in gauze before being transferred to Bangkok Hospital in Koh Samui for treatment.

Emma racked up over 800,000 baht (£20,000) in medical bills during her seven-day stay in a Thai hospital…

“The nurses were really nice, but they’d keep coming into my room at 2am with a card machine.

“Every day it was like, ‘you need to pay this bill, you need to pay that bill.’

“I did have insurance, but the company was really bad at communicating.”

The English tourist suffered complete skin loss on her left foot and needed a skin graft operation which she decided to get done in the UK

“It was like something out of Halloween – it was horrible. The operation in Thailand alone would have cost over 400,000 baht (£10,000).”

Not knowing whether she had to pay an 800,000 baht bill added extra worry to Emma’s already stressful situation as she waited to fly home for surgery.

Emma’s 56 year old father Dave Lewis helped Emma foot the 800,000 baht bill – which luckily for Emma, was reimbursed by the insurance company.

“It only cost £200 to take the policy out, and it saved me over £20,000 in medical bills.

“I posted it on TikTok in the hopes that someone might see it and decide to buy travel insurance, too.”

Four months later, all of Emma’s wounds have healed and she is almost fully recovered. The scarring on her face was not permanent luckily, she just has to use factor 30 sunscreen on her face whenever she goes outside.

After her horror ordeal in Thailand, Emma advises tourists “make sure you’re covered” and “wear a helmet.”

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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