Coma patient from Thailand back home

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After a long eleven months, a German coma patient was flown out of Thailand to his home in Bavaria. With donations from the city of Bamberg, the patient was successfully released from the Thai clinic.

(20.09.2010) A coma patient had to spend eleven months in a clinic in Thailand. So far there has been no hope of transferring the 39-year-old to Germany. Because the special flight alone, which is accompanied by doctors, causes high costs of around 25,000 euros. The hospital in Thailand also asked for over 50,000 euros for medical care and treatment. A large-scale fundraising campaign by relatives and the city of Bamberg made it possible to bring the patient back to Germany.

After an unexplained accident at the airport in the Thai city of Hat Yai, the man fell into a coma after a fall due to a traumatic brain injury. Since then, the coma patient has been treated in a local hospital. The cost of treatment rose every day and relatives saw no way to get the man home. Because the costs including flight and treatment had already reached around 85,000 euros. A broad public could be created through media reports. Many donated and the city of Bamberg supported the fundraiser.

In the meantime, the flight with the coma patient has landed in Nuremberg. This was confirmed by Volker Lemke from the International Air Ambulance. The patient was now brought to a special care facility in the vicinity of Nuremberg. There the man continues to receive medical attention and care. Lemke told the "dpa": "He is not a hopeless case", because the chances that the man will regain full consciousness are great. A positive development of the patient could already be observed in Thailand.

According to numerous media reports, the man traveled to Thailand in 2008. In October 2009, the victim wanted to fly from Hat Yai to Bangkok. However, he arrived at the airport one day early. The staff had denied him access to the departure hall. The man is said to have tried to jump into the departure hall from a flight of stairs. According to the media, he suffered a serious head injury during the jump. The clinic in Thailand was initially unable to find any relatives and relatives in Germany. It was only after a few months that a grandmother and other relatives of the man were found. But the relatives could not pay the costs. In addition, the patient had no international health insurance. The city of Bamberg started a fundraiser for the 39-year-old after numerous reports in the media.

According to the German Air Ambulance, an accompanied special flight with medical care costs around 70,000 euros. But the flight ambulance declared itself ready to offer a cheaper price due to the location. It only succeeded because the plane had to fly a patient to Australia in the middle of last week. On the flight back, the machine stopped and took the patient. Only the stopover costs were then calculated. The money was then sufficient through donations and the promises of the authorities.

Until the end it was not clear whether the return trip could actually take place. Because the hospital in Thailand also existed at its own expense. A companion of the coma patient told "dpa": "The return trip was a thriller", because the clinic in Thailand initially refused to discharge the patient. "There was a misunderstanding that the clinic had not received any money for the treatment." such a supervisor to the news agency. Through a lightning transfer from a company, it was nevertheless possible to take the 39-year-old with him.

A coma is an expression of a serious disorder or damage to the brain. A coma is life-threatening for the patient if adequate treatment is not used. The further health prognosis depends crucially on further treatment of the comatose patient. For this reason too, it was extremely important to bring the affected person to Germany. (sb)

Coma patient in Thailand is flown back

Photo credit: Arno Bachert /

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