British student’s harrowing balcony plunge leaves him fighting for life in a Thailand hospital

Picture courtesy of the Heathcock family.

A British student is fighting for his life in hospital after a harrowing fall from a hotel balcony in Thailand.

The 21 year old Teesside University student is unconscious in a Thai hospital suffering from major internal and external injuries following a plunge from a balcony in Chiang Mai.

Jack Heathcock had been on what his sister Chloe described as a ‘dream backpacking adventure’ around Thailand with two friends when the unfortunate incident occurred on June 17.

The nursing student was due to return to Middlesbrough in the North-East of England on June 19 but he fell from a third storey balcony in the northern Thailand city of Chiang Mai, where he is now fighting for his life.

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Heathcock was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital, where he underwent multiple surgeries to address damage to his spleen, liver, and kidneys, as well as injuries including a lung bleed, brain trauma, and fractures to his neck and pelvis. Despite the passage of more than two weeks, the British student remains in critical condition, and his family is desperately seeking a way to bring him back home, reported the Teesside Gazette.

Upon receiving news of the accident from their son’s friend, Jack’s parents, Ian and Joy Heathcock, wasted no time and flew to Thailand to be by his side. Although Jack had travel insurance, the family claims that the insurance company is refusing to cover the costs associated with his treatment.

Chloe, Jack’s 26 year old sister, expressed their disappointment. She said…

“Jack did have a travel insurance policy in place for the trip, and my parents have been in regular contact with the travel insurance company and the British Embassy in Thailand. Unfortunately, following their investigations, the insurers have deemed that due to the circumstances of the incident, they will not be covering the claim.

“We are looking to appeal this decision but are heartbroken that we are left with total costs expected to exceed £40,000 (1.8 million baht), which is not an amount that we as a family can afford.”

The exact circumstances of the British student’s fall remain unclear, and his family is still seeking answers about the incident and who was with him at the time. Doctors have informed them that Jack is unlikely to be stable enough to travel for at least another month, but his family is determined to bring him home safely as soon as possible.

Chloe has been managing affairs at home in Redcar while her parents are in Thailand, handling communications with the insurance company and their parents’ workplaces. She has also initiated fundraising efforts to support Jack’s care, setting up a GoFundMe page to alleviate the financial burden. Additionally, Jack’s friends have organized a fundraising event at Dormans Club in Middlesbrough on Friday, July 14.

Currently, in critical condition, the British student is receiving treatment for a stomach infection resulting from surgery. Despite the challenges, his family remains hopeful that they can bring him back to the UK for ongoing treatment at James Cook University Hospital in Teesside.

Chloe added…

“To help end this nightmare, we need Jack back home in the UK, where we can provide him with the help and support he undoubtedly needs for his continued recovery.”

If you would like to contribute to the GoFundMe campaign established to assist with Jack’s care, please click HERE.

British student's harrowing balcony plunge leaves him fighting for life in a Thailand hospital | News by Thaiger
Picture courtesy of the Heathcock family.

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.