A dad is fighting for his life more than 5,000 miles from home after a harrowing motorbike crash in Thailand.
Jay Bridgehouse, 32, was in the south Asian country to “chase his dreams” and look for work. However, his motorbike collided with a pick-up truck last month and he was dashed to hospital.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, his heartbroken family claim he was hit by a driver travelling at high speed while he was riding his motorbike with no helmet. Jay, who is a father of five, had forgotten to put the phone down to his girlfriend Naomi moments before, meaning she had to endure hearing the collision happen in real time.
Following the crash, Jay was immediately rushed to the Koh Samui International hospital in Thailand, where he remains in a critical condition.
He quickly underwent life-saving surgery due to suffering a severe bleed on his brain and has multiple fractures to his skull, face and body. Doctors had expected Jay to wake up within four to six hours following the emergency surgery but he slipped into a coma, with his family now sitting by his bedside ‘praying for a miracle’ and hoping he pulls through.
Following his first operation, Jay then developed a second bleed on the brain and caught pneumonia. The 32-year-old who was looking for work in Thailand is still hooked up to a ventilator as he is unable to completely breathe by himself. CT scans and continued tests then tragically revealed that Jay’s brain function is now minimal due to infarctions throughout his brain. His medical bills currently stand at over £10,000, with his family desperate to bring him home.
The British Consulate has helped to secure emergency travel documents and passports so Jay’s family could fly out to Thailand to be with him – but in order to bring him back to UK soil for further treatment, a medical evacuation while he is unable to breathe by himself is estimated to be around £32,000, his family says.
“At the minute we are having to live day by day,” his heartbroken mum Tracey told the Manchester Evening News. “We don’t know which way is up or what is going on. We are in the depths of despair, looking at him and thinking ‘there is no way that’s our Jay’. One minute you feel okay, sitting having a drink and the next it’s like a ton of bricks has hit you.
“I have been with Jay’s dad for 38 years and I have never seen him cry as much in all that time as I have in this past week.”
Speaking about the night of the tragedy, Tracey added: “He is away with his girlfriend but had been out with some of the lads for a drink and told her he wouldn’t be long until he was back. He put the phone in his pocket but the call hadn’t ended, so she was saying ‘hello, hello?’. That was when she heard it.”
Heartbreaking pictures show Jay, from Woodley, hooked up to a ventilator, which his mum said is currently providing him with around 60 per cent of oxygen. Since becoming stable he has been moved to another ward, with Tracey and dad Dean regularly playing music or reading to him in his comatose state.
“The doctors are talking about trying to take him off the ventilator for an hour a day to see how he gets on and how he handles breathing, which I am terrified about,” she added.
Jay’s family say they have now ‘maxed out’ credit cards and borrowed as much money they can to help pay for his treatment, but a fundraiser started by his younger sister Abbie is trying to recoup additional funds.
Sharing a fundraiser online, Jay’s sister Abbie said: “Jay was in Thailand chasing his dreams for the future. Jay is a much loved, fun loving, and often teasing, big brother. He is an avid Manchester United fan and watched the games whenever he could. He has been known to blast out an out of tune version of Tom Jones ‘Delilah’ on the karaoke whenever he had the chance.
“He was in contact with home often and always ended his calls with ‘I love you all the world big sausages’ and ‘I miss you.’ You never think something like this will happen to you and, as a family, we thought that too. If you can help, with whatever you can afford, our family will be very grateful. We are a hardworking family. We have borrowed and maxed out credit cards to be here with Jay, but we have nowhere else to turn, other than to beg for the generosity and kindness of family, friends and strangers to help us save our Jay.
“We are asking for help to bring our boy home to Manchester. We are asking for help to pay Jay’s medical bills. We are asking for help to sit by Jay’s bedside, so he is not alone while we hold his hand, and he fights for his life.”
Donations can be made here.
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