THE mother of a man returning to Hampshire, who was critically injured in Borneo, has spoken of her relief that her son is coming home.
Professional diver Terry Dukes, whose parents live on Hayling Island, was found with a serious head injury and remains in a critical condition despite five operations.
The Sultan of Brunei has agreed to pay for Mr Dukes to come back to the UK.
His mother Jane, of Hayling Island, said: ‘It’s been a dream come true as it’s been a living nightmare for a long time and it’s just so wonderful to know that we will be seeing him shortly and whenever we want to.
‘We can’t thank the Sultan enough for letting him come home.’
Mr Dukes’ cousin Carole Jahme said he needs a procedure which cannot be carried out in Brunei – one of three countries which make up the island of Borneo in south east Asia – but his family could not afford to pay for his repatriation flight.
But after Ms Jahme, who works for the Guardian newspaper, met three of the sultan’s children at a birthday party for the comedian Simon Amstell, she contacted him to ask for help.
‘We are not exactly sure what happened to Terry,’ she said. ‘He had a fall and somehow he landed on the road and hit his head.
‘His parents are absolutely devastated after everything that has happened.’
She said her aunt had contacted Terry using an internet video link and he appeared to be improving.
‘Terry understood he was coming home courtesy of the Sultan via an air ambulance and he managed a thumbs-up,’ she said. ‘This is massive progress as he has been unconscious and unable to breathe unaided. The sultan has been amazing.’
Mr Dukes has lived in Borneo for more than 20 years and worked as a diver and marine biologist. He is due to arrive in Southampton Airport on Sunday.
Visit justgiving.com/carole-jahme to donate.