Family 'running out of time' to get seriously ill Gosport pensioner home from Thailand hospital

THE family of a man who is seriously ill in Thailand are desperate to get him back home for medical treatment.

Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 5:36 pm
The family of Michael Woodhams, 76 from Gosport, need to raise 10,000 for medical assistance on his flight home. Picture: Supplied

Michael Woodhams, 76, has suffered a stroke, pneumonia and is thought to also have COPD, and is now bed-bound at a hospital in Thailand.

Though he has lived there for 10 years, he previously lived in Gosport, where the rest of his family still resides.

Now, for medical assistance to get him back home, his family needs to raise £10,000.

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Michael Woodhams, 76 from Gosport, has been in a Thailand hospital for the past three weeks. Picture: Supplied

Michael’s daughter, Laura Woodhams, said: ‘He went into hospital about three weeks ago.

‘Someone messaged our Thai friend in Gosport and she told us what had happened.

‘It would be a huge risk putting him on a normal flight – I don’t think he would make it – so medical assistance is essential.’

Laura Woodhams, left, with her dad Michael during happier times in Hayling Island. Picture: Supplied

So far, Michael’s family has paid around £4,000 in medical bills.

Due to the language barrier between Thai hospital staff and Mr Woodhams’ family, 38-year-old Laura says it has been a difficult process.

While hospital staff know basic English, her father doesn't know Thai and so cannot converse with them in their mother tongue.

‘There’s a lack of communication and we are running out of time,’ Laura said.

‘The language barrier and our lack of knowledge have made it tough; we feel like we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place getting him home.’

On Friday Laura started an online fundraiser for the £10,000 to get her father – who was in the merchant navy and then worked for Royal Mail, Unigate, and Palmer and Harvey in Segensworth – home.

Already, residents of Gosport and beyond have raised £3,240.

Laura's sister, 47-year-old Sharon Curtis, said: ‘I would just thank everyone who has helped our dad, even people we don't personally know.

‘Their generosity has been overwhelming and humbling.’

Laura added: ‘At the moment we see no end to this nightmare, but to see our dad back home would be a huge relief for my sister and me.’

To donate to the fundraiser that will get Michael back home, people can go to facebook.com/donate/499413153972077/10216042765048194.