Brit dad stuck abroad with disease eating away at his leg after scorpion bite
A Brit who is believed to have been bitten by a scorpion on holiday is stuck in a hospital abroad facing the prospect of his leg being amputated.
Alan Stephenson, 73, is being treated in Thailand for a flesh-eating disease that has stripped the skin off his left leg from the foot to the knee.
His family are now trying to bring him home but have been told they must settle an £18,000 bill for that to be possible, Hull Live reports.
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Kristian Stephenson – Alan's 44-year-old son – flew over and visited his father at the hospital, which is located miles from the nearest city in a remote part of the country.
When he arrived, he said he watched as stray cats ate food that was intended for patients and saw cockroaches crawling on the ceiling.
He also found his father in "absolute agony" and a state of confusion, unable to recall where his visa or documents were.
"The hospital was terrible and didn't have the resources to do anything with his leg," Kristian said. "I thought: he is going to die here."
Eventually, Kristian managed to move his father to another hospital but, despite a doctor in the UK indicating it may be possible to save the leg, the family is facing a huge bill to bring Alan back home to Hull, because it would require employing a medical repatriation team.
Now, Kristian has launched a Just Giving page to raise the thousands of pounds required.
Alan suffers from diabetes and it is believed this contributed to his leg becoming red and swollen after the suspected scorpion bite.
A short time later, infection set in and Alan was diagnosed with the flesh-eating disease before being told amputation is the only realistic option.
"His leg looked horrendous, but, because he wasn't being turned over or helped out of bed, he had bed sores that were just as bad," Kristian continued.
"As this was going on, the place he had been staying was demanding rent and taking his belongings to cover the cost, and the hospital was charging an extortionate amount of medical bills in cash."
The family made the decision to move Alan to another hospital in a small town, "which was a lot better but also more expensive".
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At the second hospital, doctors said they would be able to remove Alan's infected leg but, according to Kristian, the operation has been rescheduled several times, meaning the family is having to pay out more and more in hospital fees.
Kristian has asked for help from the British Embassy but has had little success and has used his own savings to cover medical bills.
He is now being helped from Hull by his MP Karl Turner.
The medical repatriation company suggested starting a Just Giving page, and more than £5,000 has already been raised.
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