Family desperate for young Brit in intensive care in Thailand to return home

Photos via Jim Richardson

The young British man who sustained life-threatening injuries in a motorbike crash in Thailand in February is still in intensive care in Bangkok and his family cannot afford to pay for his return home.

The 24 year old ice hockey player from Blackburn, Josh Richardson, was in Thailand for less than 24 hours when he got into a motorbike collision while going out for food in the middle of the night in the early hours of February 3.

In the past two months, Richardson has undergone several surgeries for the serious head injuries he sustained in the crash and has only recently regained consciousness and started speaking again.

Doctors in Thailand performed a £20,000 (850,000 baht) brain surgery after finding air pockets in Richardson’s brain. However, the surgery was not successful and he needs more surgery for the same price, reports the Mirror.

The family has been informed that if the operation is not successful and Richardson has to return to the UK, a full ICU crew will need to assist him on his journey home which will cost £168,000 (7.1 million baht). His dad remains by his side in the hospital in Thailand.

Although Richardson took out insurance for his trip, the insurance company will not cover the costs of his medical treatment because they believe he was not wearing a helmet when he fractured his skull.

The tourist’s family and friends are raising funds for Richardson through this GoFundMe fundraiser, but still haven’t raised nearly enough for Richardson to fly home and receive care under the UK’s free healthcare system.

During his time at the University of Leeds, Richardson played ice hockey for the Bradford Bulldogs. Bulldogs Manager Joanne Gibson, who started the fundraiser, told the Lancashire Post

“Unfortunately Josh is not home and he’s had some setbacks. Had the first surgery worked, he could have flown home business class costing £15,000, but if he needs a full ICU crew to fly him home they have quoted £168,000. Where are they expected to find that kind of money?”

The hockey player has a big support network back home who are continually organising fundraising events to raise funds for Richardson’s return from Thailand.

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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.