Hopes raised for coma teacher in Thai hospital

0
Have your say

Thailand assault victim Adam Pickles could be moved out of intensive care within a week as he continues to show promising signs of recovery.

The 40-year-old teacher, from Keighley, has overcome two major health scares, beating both pneumonia and an infection in just 72 hours in the Thai hospital where he lies in a coma.

He can now regulate his own body temperature and fluids and is breathing 60 per cent unaided.

Best friend Neil Clappison, who receives daily updates from Mr Pickles’s parents Andrew and Adele, said he was now deemed out of the danger zone.

“He’s been getting better and better and is needing less and less support every day,” he said.

“They hope he is going to be out of intensive care next week.”

Mr Pickles, who moved to Thailand seven years ago, was brutally attacked with a metal bar and left for dead as he made his way to his home in Pattaya from a local bar on May 17.

The savage assault left him needing two emergency operations to remove clots and bone from his brain, and he has since undergone further surgery to help his breathing.

Mr Pickles’s parents, from Thorner, Leeds, are now helping doctors try to wake him up by talking to him and playing music.

It is the second time in a year their son has been in a coma. The former Humberside University and Bradford Grammar School student missed the birth of his eight-month-old son Benjamin after a motorbike crash in September.

Support has poured in from friends, family and strangers through a Facebook page and website set up to help raise money for his care.

The Bangkok insurance company Mr Pickles has health cover with through his job as head of English at the Regent’s International School finally agreed to pay out after pressure from campaigners.

However, the money will only cover about a tenth of the total hospital bill and none of the repatriation costs, which are expected to total more than £70,000.

Supporters have also been piling pressure on the Foreign Office and British Consulate in Thailand after an initially “lukewarm” response to their pleas for help.

Dozens of emails have been sent to Foreign Secretary William Hague, his advisors and local MPs calling for support. The campaign appears to be working, with help now more forthcoming, Mr Clappison said.

“We’ve shown when we rally to a cause we can really get results – with the insurance company for instance,” he said.

“Through no fault of his own, Adam’s insurance will only cover about 10 per cent of his costs – but before the Facebook group started he wouldn’t even have got that.”

Friends, family and strangers touched by Mr Pickles’s plight have now donated £33,000 towards the rest of his hospital bill and repatriation costs.

The sum looks set to keep rising, with charity drives taking place, including curry nights in Pattaya; sponsored ultra-skates by the Dutch record holder in the Netherlands, and a Dubai rugby tournament.

In Yorkshire, former colleagues of Mr Pickles at Wakefield’s Cathedral School have arranged a fund-raising evening, and his friend Matthew Cullen has organised a music festival in a fitting tribute to the talented guitar player.

PickleAID will be held at Full Circle in Aire Place Mills, Leeds, from 2pm on July 7, featuring local bands, DJs and a barbecue. Admission to the family-friendly event will cost £10.

“Events are now happening around the globe to help Adam, and people are uniting to help one incredibly well-loved man,” said Mr Clappison.

“The amount of support has been absolutely incredible, People that have never met Adam are reading about him, realising what an amazing person he is and donating. It’s just phenomenal.”

To find out how to help visit www.donatetoadam.org.