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Australian student has leg amputated after Phuket motorbike crash

PHUKET: Despite clear assurances from doctors at Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket Town to the contrary, an Australian woman has had to have her leg amputated after it was crushed by a bus in a motorbike accident in Phuket.

tourism, transport, accidents, health,

The Phuket News

Monday 11 December 2017, 06:37PM

Stacey Liddle is staying incredibly positive about her experience, but still urging travellers to check their travel insurance coverage before setting off. Photo: Stacey Liddle / Facebook
Stacey Liddle is staying incredibly positive about her experience, but still urging travellers to check their travel insurance coverage before setting off. Photo: Stacey Liddle / Facebook

Stacey Liddle, a university student from Brisbane, had her left leg crushed by a tour bus after a collision near Chalong Circle on Oct 26. She was in Phuket to celebrate her 30th birthday.

Ms Liddle was riding a rental motorbike when she and a passing tour bus collided. She was knocked to the road and the bus’ back wheels ran over her leg.

Dr Kritsada Chairattanaphitak, Vachira Hospital’s Medical Specialist in Hand and Microsurgery, later told The Phuket News, “We have performed several operations on Ms Liddle’s leg as it suffered multiple fractures and severe damage in the accident.

“There is no need to consider amputation unless there is an infection or complication – and at this stage there is neither. The nerves are still there and currently there is no infection,” he added.

“Her leg is still recovering, it is getting better,” Dr Kritsada assured. (See story here.)

However, by the time Ms Liddle arrived in Australia last month her leg was infected, reports Australian broadcaster 9News.

Ms Liddle was flown to Sydney via medevac after spending more than three weeks at Vachira Hospital, said the report. (See story here.)

Yet she was left with no choice but to undergo emergency surgery at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital on Nov 25 to remove the limb from the thigh down after catching a “superbug”, the report added.

Ms Liddle is admirably staying in an incredibly positive frame of mind, 9News reported.

“The amputation went extremely well and is healing perfectly,” said Ms Liddle during her 9News interview posted online today (Dec 11), before she prepares to fly to Brisbane tomorrow (Dec 12).

“I have been up and hopping around my room and have also started to do exercises to prepare for a prosthetic leg.

“I have no regrets in the decision I made to have it amputated. I felt quite unwell before the surgery. I got a superbug,” Ms Liddle said.

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“I am so grateful to be alive actually. I can see good things coming out of this.

“I want to use my incident and hopefully help others, perhaps finish my counselling course and become a trauma counsellor,” she added.

Ms Liddle will go to Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and then be placed on a rehabilitation program. “I’m hoping I won’t be in hospital for too long,” she said.

“One of the doctors in Sydney said I should be up walking perfectly by June. I’ve already walked to a chair with a physio. I’ve been hopping around my room. I’m stubborn when I want to be.

“I feel great. I’m going to work really hard so I can get a day pass so I can go home on Christmas Day. I got a puppy before I left which I’ve heard is not so much a puppy anymore.”


Ms Liddle was unable to fly home for treatment as the travel insurance policy she had taken out did not cover injuries sustained a motorbike accident as riding a scooter in Thailand was deemed a “high-risk activity”.

Eventually, friends and family managed to raise the much-needed AUS$32,000 (about B784,297), with AUS$27,499 (just over B675,000) being riased through a GoFundMe campaign. (See here.)

To this Ms Liddle urges fellow travellers to make sure they fully understand their travel insurance policies.

“I didn’t read the fine print of my Covermore insurance. It was my fault,” she told the Australian viewing public.

“I wish some travel insurance companies didn’t have fine print but rather big print so people know what they are and are not covered for. If I knew I wasn’t covered, I wouldn’t have gone on the scooter,” she said.

“But even though I didn’t have the insurance, Covermore keeps calling me along the way. They organised me to go to RPA in the first place,” Ms Liddle added.



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