Connect with us

Phuket

Anonymous donor gives stranded Kiwi ticket home

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET: Sean Kenzie, the 27-year-old New Zealander stranded and unable to pay his mounting medical bills after a hit-and run-accident, boarded a plane for home today thanks to an anonymous donor who supplied the funds for his flight.

Sean looked a little tired when he arrived at Phuket Airport; he walked straight to the Thai Airways check-in counter to catch his flight home.

“My mother was upset about the [private] hospital kicking me out. She had sent NZ$8,000 [more than 200,000 baht, for medical fees], but they told my mum that it wasn’t enough,” he said.

Sean explained that he still owes the hospital about 500,000 baht (more than NZ$19,000) in expenses.

His insurance refused to pay, claiming that motorbike accidents were not covered under his “premium policy”.

Desperate, Sean’s older brother started a fundraiser on Facebook.

“When I get back New Zealand, I’m going to court with my insurance company. I was supposed to be covered for motorbike [accidents]. I was supposed to be covered for everything. And then, when I had the accident, they told me I wasn’t. They pulled out and I’m left with big bills, huge bills.”

Sean told the Phuket Gazette that “thousands and thousands” of people made donations to the Facebook fund his brother Kane started. One anonymous donor put up all the money necessary for Sean’s flight home.

“I’d like to thank the people of New Zealand. They’re awesome; they got behind me and donated money. I probably would have died here if it wasn’t for them,” Sean said.

He explained that he wired more money to the hospital today, as he was finally allowed to leave Phuket after signing an agreement allowing him 365 days to pay off the remainder of his medical expenses.

The hit-and-run accident left him in a coma with the teeth on his right side smashed out, his jaw broken, both lungs collapsed, a split liver and a knee requiring reconstructive surgery.

“The taxi driver must have hit me pretty hard,” he said.

Rescue workers took him to the private hospital for care.

Sean has a vague memory of the incidents preceding the accident. He was driving back to his hotel when he realized he was heading in the wrong direction, so he pulled over to the side of the road, where he was run down.

He could not remember where exactly he was when the accident occurred.

With two collapsed lungs, Sean awoke with two tubes in his chest. He was told they would be removed within two days, but they stayed in place for almost a month.

“I should have been out of the hospital a week ago. This tube was supposed to come out, but… my lung collapsed again,” he explained yesterday.

“They brought me back down to the surgery room and gave me drugs and put the tube back in. I woke up in the afternoon and they kicked me out,” he said.

“I didn’t know what was going on. I had no idea, no clue. All I knew was that they were kicking me out. Then they brought me here [to an open patient ward at Vachira Phuket Hospital].”

After one night, the New Zealand consulate stepped in and had Sean transferred to a private room of the hospital.

Once back in New Zealand, Sean will start down the long path of rehabilitation.

Formerly a roofer in Australia, Sean has been told that he will not be able to return to work for a long time.

“There is no police record; no police have come to see me,” Sean explained to the Gazette. “I’ve been here nearly a month and nobody has come to see me [about the accident]. The taxi that hit me should have had their insurance paying for all of this.”

Despite the horrors of Sean’s first trip to Thailand, he is determined to return.

“I will return to Thailand as the country still owes me my travelling,” he said.

— Atchaa Khamlo

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand6 hours ago

Thailand News Today | AoT warns about tourist exuberance, easing of restrictions | June 22

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

CCSA: Bars to stay closed for now, drunk customers risk the spread of Covid-19

Bangkok7 hours ago

Woman dies after jumping from Phra Khanong BTS station in Bangkok

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)8 hours ago

263 covid cases linked to canned seafood factory in Songkhla

Drugs8 hours ago

Narcotics Control Board announce recent drug busts, heroin and cocaine sent by mail

Environment8 hours ago

3 Cambodian activists arrested for plotting against the government/insulting the king after documenting waste run-off

Chiang Mai9 hours ago

Chiang Mai eases restrictions, alcohol now allowed at restaurants

Thailand9 hours ago

Angry ex allegedly sets motorcycle on fire in school parking garage

Cambodia9 hours ago

6 arrested in Cambodia for allegedly trafficking people into Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

Tuesday Covid Update: 4,059 new cases; provincial totals

Thailand10 hours ago

Power outages coming to Kathu

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

Samut Sakhon governor calls for more vaccine doses after order was cut

Thailand11 hours ago

Fruit buyer arrested for allegedly using counterfeit certificates to export durian

Tourism12 hours ago

Airports of Thailand president says tourism won’t pick back up until October

Thailand13 hours ago

Mobile sterilisation/vaccination truck helps Pattaya’s cats and dogs

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending