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Dad goes busking to collect cash for daughter hurt in Phuket

PHUKET: Pictures widely shared on the Internet of a Czech father busking in front of the Robinson department store in Phuket Town and on Bangla Rd in Patong to collect money for his daughter’s hospital bills have prompted help from many people, he says.

By Nattha Thepbamrung

Tuesday 13 January 2015, 07:14PM

Lukáš Matěna was playing guitar on the streets to collect money after his six-year-old daughter, Rebeka Matěna, was hit by a car last Tuesday (January 6).

“We arrived in Phuket on January 4,” the busking father of four explained to The Phuket News.

“We [Lukáš and his wife Klàra] were inside Chalong temple [with the children]. I was parking the motorbike and did not know Rebeka had decided to cross the road by herself.

“A car coming from the inside the temple hit her and caused three fractures in her jaw,” he explained. The child was taken to Bangkok Hospital Phuket.

“She is getting better now. She can take some liquid food and she may be able to leave the hospital in a few days. But in one week, she is due for a check-up and a week after that, there will be another operation.”

The car driver’s insurance company is covering the B800,000 hospital bill but Mr Matěna still has to find money to cover the costs of the family’s extended stay in Thailand.

“We were to have left Phuket last Thursday [January 8] but because of the accident, we have to wait until our daughter gets better.”


Immigration Police officers led by Pol Lt Tapanan Akkarakantarakorn visited the family in the hospital.

“We come here just to make sure that they are being helped properly,” he told The Phuket News.

“I had to tell them that it is illegal for a foreigner to play music on the street for money and I suggested that it would be better if they contact the Czech embassy. There are funds for emergency cases like this.”

The family arrived in Thailand in December, spending time in Krabi before taking a boat to Phuket on January 4, two days before the accident.

Mr Matěna said he had already extended the family’s visas for 30 days on Friday (January 9) but they will have to wait until the second operation and see how feasible it is to travel home after that.

The reaction from netizens was wonderful, he said. “People saw me on social media and came looking for us at the hospital. Others saw me performing on the street and gave money.

“I want to thank you everyone, the local Phuket people, local businesses and officials for their help for my daughter and our family. We really appreciate it very much,” he added.



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reader | 15 March 2015 - 09:47:26

I must say travel insurance should be mandatory for all visitors to Thailand. It will save a lot of heartache. 

aussiebob | 14 January 2015 - 07:16:04

Great to hear that the child will recover from her injuries. But,if you can't afford travel insurance, YOU CAN'T AFFORD A HOLIDAY!!!

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