Canadian family crowdfund to bring retired firefighter home from Thai hospital

Published:  28 Mar at 6 PM
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Tagged: Canada, Thailand
The family of a retired firefighter in Edmonton, Canada, are crowdfunding in the hope of raising enough to get Bill Hughes home from hospital in Thailand.

At present, Bill is in a coma in a private Thai hospital, after being struck down by the mosquito-borne virus Japanese Encephalitis. It’s a rare virus which attacks the blood and is frequently fatal. Treatment given at the Thai hospital saved his life, but he lapsed into a coma two months ago, and his ever-increasingly expensive medical bill has prompted his family to resort to crowdfunding in order to bring him home to Edmonton.

Bill’s longtime friend Dean Adam is amazed that his fit, healthy mate could have been hit so badly by the disease. He told local reporters that Bill biked, ran or swam every day no matter what the fickle Canadian weather threw at him. He was proud of his fitness level, with his exercise regime his passion along with his daughter Jillian and other close family members.

Jillian joined Bill in Thailand as soon as he was taken ill and is still there, visiting him daily. According to his family, the medical expenses are now reaching unmanageable heights and the only way out is to fund an air ambulance to get him home. Jillian is Bill’s only child, and she's desperate to find a solution which will help him recover in familiar surroundings.

So far, the crowdfunding campaign has attracted $21,000 of its $200,000 goal, all of which will be used to repatriate Bill via an air ambulance. Jillian told reporters that her dad had spent his entire working life saving people in danger and was always there for those who needed him. His longterm friend Dean described Bill as a fighter and scrapper, adding that all his firefighter friends as well as his family were rooting for him and doing all they could to get him home. ‘We’ve got to get him back’, he said.
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