FOR five-and-a-half months, it was feared she would not be able to return to the UK.
But now, after a £20,000 emergency cash injection from forces charities, Rose Weatherill is home.
The 79-year-old had been facing an uncertain future after being seriously injured in a horrific crash in Thailand in April that claimed the lives of her husband Arthur, 81, and son David, 54.
Friends of the family sought to find a way to get her home, launching a fundraising appeal to pay for her escalating medical costs, as previously reported in The News.
The funds helped pay for a carer to assist Rose in Bangkok Hospital in Phuket, where she began to recover from her injuries.
A solution to bring her home was deemed remote until the Royal British Legion and Royal Naval Benevolent Trust stepped in, each stumping up £10,000 to pay for the repatriation costs.
Rose, who lives in Gosport, flew back to the UK and is being cared for at Cosham’s Queen Alexandra Hospital.
Steve Underwood, a long-term friend of Rose and David, who set up the appeal, said: ‘It really is wonderful to have Rose back in the UK after all this time.
‘I wanted to add a massive thank you for all those who donated money and provided their help to get her home, it really is appreciated from all those who have worked so hard to get her back.
‘All we can do now is wish her a speedy recovery.
‘She is still frail at the moment. We’re unclear about what needs she will have in the future, but we are hoping for the best at the moment.’
Steve had known David for 20 years before he died in the crash on April 21.
Rose and Arthur had flown out to meet David in Thailand, where he had lived since 2011 after moving from Havant.
His wife Jeedy and other family friends helped provide updates on Rose’s condition for those at home.
Chief executive of the RNBT Rob Bosshardt said Rose’s ‘exceptional circumstances’ warranted the release of funds from the charity.
Arthur served in the navy in his youth and Mr Bosshardt explained that the charity ‘takes care of our own’.
‘The RNBT exists to provide aid to those in need of support.
‘We were made aware of the tragic circumstances regarding Mrs Weatherill and so we made the decision to repatriate her to the UK after speaking to the Royal British Legion, which said it would appreciate our assistance.
‘The trust exists to look after the family of those serving or who have served by providing assistance for those who are in need of it.
‘This was a circumstance that we had never come across before and exceptional circumstances require exceptional outcomes.
‘We’re absolutely delighted to find out she is being looked after at the QA and we will be on hand to offer any support she needs in the future.’