Ryan's holiday smash sparks friends' boost

Herald Series: Rob Elson Rob Elson

THE parents of a carpenter from Grove said they are in a “living nightmare” after their son’s dream holiday ended in a horrific accident.

Ryan Elson, 29, is in a critical condition in hospital in Thailand after an accident while riding a moped. He has broken his nose and jaw, needs reconstructive facial surgery and doctors have told him he is likely to lose an eye.

Family and friends at home in Oxfordshire are now scrambling to raise money for his treatment – after being told he had not taken out holiday insurance.

Dad Rob Elson, at home in Wantage, said: “He is clinging on to life. He was 50-50 for a while. We’re in an absolute living nightmare.

“My wife Sharon flew right out there and so she is at his side. He knows she is there.”

Mr Elson, a self-employed carpenter and former King Alfred’s pupil, had spent the last four months in Thailand.

The crash happened on Monday on the island of Koh Lanta. Mr Elson was taken to the mainland and then straight to Phuket.

His family have also been told he has fluid on the brain and was in an induced coma last week.

His dad said: “The phone rang on Tuesday, and when the phone rings at 5.30am you know it’s not good news. He has had a massive head injury. And although they are doing all they can, they think he’s going to lose his eye.”

Mr Elson is still unable to speak because of the hospital tubes, but has written messages to his mother. His first sentence was simply “what happened?”.

To date, his treatment has cost £10,000 and is likely to mount up the longer he stays in hospital.

His father said he was paying whenever needed, but that could not last much longer.

A Facebook group has been set up with more than 300 members and plans for a charity evening.Cash is flooding in from businesses, pubs and restaurants and friends pledging donations from skydives and other challenges.

Collection buckets were handed round at a football game in the village this weekend and friends at the Bentley’s Cellar Bar in Wantage and the Bay Tree in Grove have been raising money.

Mr Elson said: “The response has been tremendous. Without even asking, his friends have helped however they can.

“I know we told him to get holiday insurance but now is not the time to think about that.

“If this can be a warning to others, then it should be. We just want our son to get better.”

Mr Elson also wanted to pay tribute to the friends in Thailand who were helping his wife cope, his family, son’s girlfriend Yam, family Pip and Dom, and to neighbours including Val Belcher.

He said: “You don’t know how much someone is loved, until something like this happens.

“It’s broken my heart.”

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Comments (11)

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5:18pm Tue 7 Aug 12

Inkpot says...

Very sad to hear, but once again proves that it is so silly not to take out holiday insurance, just to save about £40.
Very sad to hear, but once again proves that it is so silly not to take out holiday insurance, just to save about £40. Inkpot

9:13am Wed 8 Aug 12

Wallingford2 says...

Very sad news, but unfortunately all too common. See it all the time abroad, hiring mopeds with no or open face helmets to people with no experience at all....it's frightening!!
Very sad news, but unfortunately all too common. See it all the time abroad, hiring mopeds with no or open face helmets to people with no experience at all....it's frightening!! Wallingford2

10:04am Wed 8 Aug 12

manhattan4 says...

Inkpot wrote:
Very sad to hear, but once again proves that it is so silly not to take out holiday insurance, just to save about £40.
Agreed the majority of young travellers hire mopeds in popular backpacker destinations such as Thailand, India and South America. However very few are aware their travel insurance is void without firstly wearing a helmet and secondly holding a license for that vehicle in their own country. I wish ryan a very speedy recovery.
[quote][p][bold]Inkpot[/bold] wrote: Very sad to hear, but once again proves that it is so silly not to take out holiday insurance, just to save about £40.[/p][/quote]Agreed the majority of young travellers hire mopeds in popular backpacker destinations such as Thailand, India and South America. However very few are aware their travel insurance is void without firstly wearing a helmet and secondly holding a license for that vehicle in their own country. I wish ryan a very speedy recovery. manhattan4

10:05am Wed 8 Aug 12

manhattan4 says...

more info on Ryan's progress and fundraising events for his cause here: www.raising4ryan.co.
uk
more info on Ryan's progress and fundraising events for his cause here: www.raising4ryan.co. uk manhattan4

1:31pm Wed 8 Aug 12

DaniCalifornia says...

Inkpot wrote:
Very sad to hear, but once again proves that it is so silly not to take out holiday insurance, just to save about £40.
The insurance issue is very sad but I don't think that is the focus of this story.

How lovely to see young people in Wantage & Grove working together to help a friend who is in need. I hope all the fundraising events are successful and that Ryan can come back soon.
[quote][p][bold]Inkpot[/bold] wrote: Very sad to hear, but once again proves that it is so silly not to take out holiday insurance, just to save about £40.[/p][/quote]The insurance issue is very sad but I don't think that is the focus of this story. How lovely to see young people in Wantage & Grove working together to help a friend who is in need. I hope all the fundraising events are successful and that Ryan can come back soon. DaniCalifornia

2:19pm Wed 8 Aug 12

Inkpot says...

DaniCalifornia wrote:
Inkpot wrote:
Very sad to hear, but once again proves that it is so silly not to take out holiday insurance, just to save about £40.
The insurance issue is very sad but I don't think that is the focus of this story.

How lovely to see young people in Wantage & Grove working together to help a friend who is in need. I hope all the fundraising events are successful and that Ryan can come back soon.
If Ryan had taken out travel insurance (we don't know if he was wearing a helmet), then there is a good chance his medical costs would be paid and his eventual return to UK.
The fundraising would not then be required.
[quote][p][bold]DaniCalifornia[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Inkpot[/bold] wrote: Very sad to hear, but once again proves that it is so silly not to take out holiday insurance, just to save about £40.[/p][/quote]The insurance issue is very sad but I don't think that is the focus of this story. How lovely to see young people in Wantage & Grove working together to help a friend who is in need. I hope all the fundraising events are successful and that Ryan can come back soon.[/p][/quote]If Ryan had taken out travel insurance (we don't know if he was wearing a helmet), then there is a good chance his medical costs would be paid and his eventual return to UK. The fundraising would not then be required. Inkpot

4:45pm Wed 8 Aug 12

Wallingford2 says...

How many times to people have to be told not to go abroad without insurance???
How many times to people have to be told not to go abroad without insurance??? Wallingford2

7:32am Thu 9 Aug 12

## Nonny Mouse ## says...

How noble of you two. If the fact that he has suffered a major head/face injury isn't enough of an indication of his error, i'm sure he'll really take note of some local-rag commenting know it all's.

I have hired motorbikes abroad before and was unaware that it fell outside of my travel insurance terms. I can't imagine the pain and suffering it would have caused to my nearest and dearest had something happened. He is blessed to have a group of friends that actually care about him, and instead of kicking him while he's down, getting off their own backsides to get him the help he needs to get him home.

I'll leave you to it in your respective ivory towers.
How noble of you two. If the fact that he has suffered a major head/face injury isn't enough of an indication of his error, i'm sure he'll really take note of some local-rag commenting know it all's. I have hired motorbikes abroad before and was unaware that it fell outside of my travel insurance terms. I can't imagine the pain and suffering it would have caused to my nearest and dearest had something happened. He is blessed to have a group of friends that actually care about him, and instead of kicking him while he's down, getting off their own backsides to get him the help he needs to get him home. I'll leave you to it in your respective ivory towers. ## Nonny Mouse ##

8:22am Sat 11 Aug 12

reddwarf5 says...

Wallingford2 wrote:
How many times to people have to be told not to go abroad without insurance???
it must be hard for you to understand Wallingford2 because Im sure by your comment you've never made a mistake ....
[quote][p][bold]Wallingford2[/bold] wrote: How many times to people have to be told not to go abroad without insurance???[/p][/quote]it must be hard for you to understand Wallingford2 because Im sure by your comment you've never made a mistake .... reddwarf5

8:10pm Sun 12 Aug 12

JoeJJJ says...

Inkpot wrote:
DaniCalifornia wrote:
Inkpot wrote:
Very sad to hear, but once again proves that it is so silly not to take out holiday insurance, just to save about £40.
The insurance issue is very sad but I don't think that is the focus of this story.

How lovely to see young people in Wantage & Grove working together to help a friend who is in need. I hope all the fundraising events are successful and that Ryan can come back soon.
If Ryan had taken out travel insurance (we don't know if he was wearing a helmet), then there is a good chance his medical costs would be paid and his eventual return to UK.
The fundraising would not then be required.
Isn't "if" a wonderful word? If I hadn't tripped on the rug... if the credit crunch hadn't happened... if I was hugged more as a child...

It doesn't matter what might have happened. It matters what has happened, and what people are doing about it.
[quote][p][bold]Inkpot[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]DaniCalifornia[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Inkpot[/bold] wrote: Very sad to hear, but once again proves that it is so silly not to take out holiday insurance, just to save about £40.[/p][/quote]The insurance issue is very sad but I don't think that is the focus of this story. How lovely to see young people in Wantage & Grove working together to help a friend who is in need. I hope all the fundraising events are successful and that Ryan can come back soon.[/p][/quote]If Ryan had taken out travel insurance (we don't know if he was wearing a helmet), then there is a good chance his medical costs would be paid and his eventual return to UK. The fundraising would not then be required.[/p][/quote]Isn't "if" a wonderful word? If I hadn't tripped on the rug... if the credit crunch hadn't happened... if I was hugged more as a child... It doesn't matter what might have happened. It matters what has happened, and what people are doing about it. JoeJJJ

9:26pm Thu 16 Aug 12

Feelingsmatter says...

It happens again and again; I truly don't understand it! If you're going to do something as risky as riding a moped in Thailand you need to think about the risks. Boring, I know, but it's so sad when a family has to pauper themselves because their son didn't bother to get insurance.

Having said that, I hope he recovers well and that he's able to get home soon. His parents must be beside themselves.
It happens again and again; I truly don't understand it! If you're going to do something as risky as riding a moped in Thailand you need to think about the risks. Boring, I know, but it's so sad when a family has to pauper themselves because their son didn't bother to get insurance. Having said that, I hope he recovers well and that he's able to get home soon. His parents must be beside themselves. Feelingsmatter

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