Nanaimo’s Dan Treacher remains in hospital in Thailand and his family is trying to raise enough money to medevac him back to Canada. (GoFundMe photo)

Lack of insurance strands Island man in Thai hospital

Family trying to raise money to bring Dan Treacher back to Canada after fall

Fundraising efforts, while much appreciated by family members, are so far falling short of what’s needed to get a Nanaimo man out of a Thai hospital and back home.

This past September, 66-year-old Daniel Treacher, who splits his time between Canada and Thailand, fell from a ladder at his wife’s home and landed on his head, says his daughter, Lisa Robson.

Emergency surgery saved Treacher’s life, but his recovery has been slow going in a government hospital in Thailand, Robson said. Her father can barely communicate and still can’t breathe or eat on his own.

Robson said because her dad had pre-existing heart and back conditions, medical insurance was prohibitively expensive. He chose instead to set aside $10,000, which he figured would cover any emergencies.

“It’s not like he was completely blinded and not prepared for this – he was, to the best he thought he could do,” Robson said. “I don’t think anybody foresees this kind of an accident where you can’t function, you can’t answer questions, you can’t do anything.”

The family wants to get Treacher back to B.C., but it’s not going to be easy. Robson said a doctor told her that if her dad’s recovery progresses, he could handle a first-class flight back with a nurse or two by his side.

“But he has to be off being tube-fed for that to happen and he’s not even breathing on his own,” Robson said.

So a GoFundMe online fundraiser is attempting to raise the $75,000 necessary to medevac Treacher home. Robson is worried that the extended hospital stay in a foreign country is scary for her dad and is delaying his recovery.

She said people at the Canadian embassy have tried to be helpful, but there are limitations to what they can do.

“If the government paid for everybody to get home, nobody would get insurance, we totally understand that…” Robson said. “You’ve got to roll with the punches when you’re in somebody else’s country which is difficult to do at times.”

She said it’s unclear what will happen if enough months pass that her father, as a Canadian citizen, would be forced to leave the country, and she hopes the situation won’t get that far. It’s hard to ask for help, Robson said, but knows that’s what it will take.

“Everybody makes mistakes,” she said. “Trust me, I spent the first little while being very angry at him, wishing he had insurance.”

To view or donate to the GoFundMe, click here.

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editor@nanaimobulletin.com

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