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Recovery with a spark in Phuket



PHUKET: Freer Richardson, better known to his many Phuket friends as ‘Sparky’, has spent the better part of three months in the government’s Vachira Hospital.

He is recovering from surgery that has prevented him from walking. Because he has spent all his available cash on this medical treatment, many of his waking hours are spent wishing for a laptop computer so he can answer his many emails.

“I didn’t even know I had a medical problem until my friends told me that I was sick. I had noticed that my speaking was not as clear and I was having hallucinations. One day I found I couldn’t walk and a friend got me to go to Bangkok Hospital Phuket for an examination.”

Immediately, he was found to have an infected abscess on his spine which had become a three foot long ulcer that ran the length of his back, affecting his motor nerves. He also realized he had no medical insurance to pay for what would be an expensive surgery.

Fortunately, the doctor who gave him the diagnosis also practiced at the government hospital and Sparky was taken by ambulance to Vachira, where the surgery was done.

“I feel like I’ve had really good care at both Bangkok Hospital Phuket and Vachira, and now I’m just waiting to regain strength and for my leg muscles to allow me to walk so I can return by airplane to England for recuperation.”

Sparky first came to Phuket in 1979 on a break from his work as a radio officer on a ship docked in Singapore. He immediately knew Phuket was where he wanted to live. When he retired in 2002, he moved permanently to Chalong where he has spent many years diving, sailing and being an important part of the local community.

He is hoping there is someone willing to loan him a laptop during his remaining stay at Vachira so he can stay in contact with his many friends and relieve the boredom of his long stay in bed.

Please contact Peter Notley ( if you have a laptop that you can loan Sparky to make his stay at the hospital a little more comfortable.

— Bruce Stanley


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

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