Crowdfunding raises hopes for British tourist on life support in Thailand

Jay Bridgehouse, 32 and from Stockport UK, is seriously ill in Thailand after an accident on his motorbike.

Donations to GoFundMe have now raised 21,000 pounds (865,000 baht) in an attempt to rush a badly-injured Brit back to the UK. Jay Bridgehouse, 32 and from Stockport, was badly injured after his motorbike ploughed into a truck on the Thai island of Koh Samui. The cash is needed to pay outstanding hospital bills and an international flight now that the family have maxed out their credit cards and borrowed up to the hilt from friends.

Jay was vacationing in Thailand and looking for employment when the tragic night-time accident occurred. His sister Abbie, who has organized the GoFundMe campaign, said Jay was now breathing with the aid of a respirator and that the total requested was 50,000 pounds (2 million baht). A hospital spokesperson said emergency operations had been performed but the main problem was damage to the brain.

Insurance specialist Duncan Webb told Pattaya Mail, “This crowdfunding has been quite successful to date, but there is no statement from the family about insurance. However, as Jay was not wearing a crash helmet, cover would be minimal or non-existent. I suggest that the family continues to update Jay’s condition on the GoFundMe appeal as strangers are more likely to send cash to cases with full details.”

There are 63 known cases of medical distress in Thailand creating crowdfunding requests over the past 12 months, including a dozen from UK. At present, medical insurance is not compulsory for vacations in Thailand, but uninsured foreigners are expected to pay in full for all treatment. Thai hospitals point out that, even when foreigners are technically insured, the claims sometimes fail because the policy was too cheap to cover significant surgery or because the patient had taken alcohol or drugs prior to a traffic accident.