Appeal launched for Irish tourist after ‘horrific’ Phuket road accident

PHUKET: An appeal has been launched to raise funds to pay for medical expenses for an Irishman who remains in intensive care after a “horrific” road accident in Phuket.

By The Phuket News

Saturday 24 November 2018, 04:03PM

Alan Penrose with his wife, Melissa, and their 6-month-old baby, Kaia. Photo: GoFundMe

Alan Penrose with his wife, Melissa, and their 6-month-old baby, Kaia. Photo: GoFundMe

Alan Penrose, 35, suffered multiple injuries in the accident on Nov 15.

He sustained multiple severe injuries including a serious head trauma (epidural bleeding and contusions in the frontal lobe of his brain), kidney damage and multiple breaks and fractures of his skull/facial bones.

“These are the worst, most critical of the multiple injuries that Alan has suffered (amongst several other secondary injuries including complete sight and hearing loss on his right side),” was posted on the GoFundME page set up to help with the spiralling medical bills. (See GoFundMe page here.)

Mr Penrose was rushed to a government hospital, where an emergency craniotomy was performed to remove epidural haematoma (bleeding) and reduce swelling on the brain, said the report on GoFundMe.

His wife, Melissa, rushed from Australia to Phuket on hearing that her husband was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and in a critical condition after emergency surgery on his brain. He was in an induced coma and was on a ventilator to keep him alive. The couple have a 6-month old baby girl, Kaia

Mr Penrose’s mother, Margaret, in Ireland, with the help of her friend Paula Morris, also made arrangements to fly to Phuket.

“Margaret, Paula and Melissa arrived at Alan’s bedside to find the public hospital he was in, whilst performing heroics to keep him alive, was not resourced, equipped or staffed to provide Alan with the critical care that he needed,” said the GoFundMe report.

Laguna Golf Phuket

“To the extent that after only a couple of days, due to pressure on resources, hospital administrators were forced to transfer Alan out of ICU to a standard ward – with totally inadequate staffing and facilities.

“With clearance from a doctor, Alan was transferred to a private hospital in Phuket and returned to a specialised ICU. He is awake and breathing on his own and is now being attended to by professionals with greater expertise of head and brain injuries,” it added.

However, Mr Penrose will need specialised treatment. “His condition has stabilised but he won’t be in a fit condition to move out of hospital for a number of weeks,” said the report.

“Needless to say, this is a hugely expensive but necessary process, and one that is key in order for Alan to make a full recovery. We have agonised over the decision to seek your help but the truth is, our family needs it to cover medical expenses whilst Alan receives critical care.”

“Anyone who knows Alan knows the kind of person he is. Alan is a true Irish gentleman, full of life and full of fun, he has a heart of gold and would do anything to help out someone in need. It is now our turn to help Alan. So here we ask you to support Alan on this heartbreaking journey in whatever way you can,” the appeal noted.

“Lastly we just want to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to read Alan’s story and in advance for any support at all you can offer.”

The GoFundMe appeal in four days has raised €15,498 (B581,113) through donations by 232 people, of the €30,000 (B1.124 million) goal set.



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Kurt | 26 November 2018 - 14:57:10

The Thai Government, fully aware of the fact that Thailand is almost the deadliest country in the world when it comes to travelling by boat, taxi, mini van, bus and motorbike, should make a tourist travel insurance compulsory. Do not let foreign tourists enter when they not can prove to be insured. Set up insurance shops in the airports for arrivals..Before they pass Immigration. Good business too...

Kurt | 26 November 2018 - 11:53:21

@Winfield, all well thinking persons know this unsafe thai motorbike helmet thing is a farce. The helmets are not Thailand 4.0, and the law says everyone sitting on the motorbike must wear a helmet. The RTP is a completely law enforcement joke at road blocks. Don't they realise that? Pay the fine, keep the ticket and for the rest of the day you are allowed to drive the way you want.

Winfield | 25 November 2018 - 21:09:59

A motorbike accident? Wearing a helmet or just one of these local plastic cap things that would not pass the govt. safety standard in his own country ?

Galong | 25 November 2018 - 18:15:18

Travel Medical Insurance is dirt cheap! There is really no reason to come here uninsured. If you can afford to fly over here, you can certainly afford to purchase travel insurance.  Get well soon. 

Pauly44 | 25 November 2018 - 09:50:49

Either because he didnt have any or was doing something stupid, either way I get a bit sick of people asking strangers for money to fix their problems. 

malczx7r | 25 November 2018 - 05:53:09

Welcome to Thailand, land of safe driving! Exactly why I left! Wishing you a 100% recovery, go back to Ireland and tell everyone how unsafe it is and to not travel there to avoid this!

Kurt | 24 November 2018 - 16:56:40

Another tourist without a 100% covering Thailand holiday insurance?
How many times 'we' have to tell them Thailand is not a safe country. No money? Government Hospital 'administrators' kick you out with a finger click. A foreign life means nothing in Thailand without money/good health insurance. Wish Alan 100% recovery.  Who was at fault during accident? That party should pay.

Discover Thainess | 24 November 2018 - 16:51:18

I wonder why his insurance is not paying ?

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