Mystery donor to fly hurt Kiwi home

STACEY KIRK
Last updated 14:06 25/07/2012
Sean Kenzie
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THAI NIGHTMARE: Napier man Sean Kenzie was knocked off a scooter in Phuket and his medical insurers are refusing to pay out.

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A New Zealand man trapped in a Thai hospital may soon be back with his family in Hawke's Bay thanks to an anonymous donor who has offered to foot the medivac bill.

Sean Kenzie, 27, has been stuck in Thailand since he crashed his scooter more than three weeks ago and was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

As well as two punctured lungs - both of which had collapsed - Kenzie also suffered a ruptured kidney and broken limbs. His jaw was also broken, and while he had initial surgery on it, the private Bangkok Hospital refused to carry out further corrective surgery until his family stumped up with the more than NZ$16,000 bill.

He has since been transferred to Vachira Phuket Hospital, where Thai publication Phuket Wan reported patients were stretched out in lift foyers, and Kenzie was living off cans of tuna and protein supplements.

His jaw still needed to be operated on, but it was likely to be done in New Zealand where it would have to be re-broken and then set if he is able to fly back soon.

Although he is conscious and able to sit up, Kenzie was still in a serious condition. He would need nurses and doctors to fly with him to New Zealand, and Bangkok Hospital initially told Kenzie's family they would need to pay for several doctors and nurses to fly business class.

But Kenzie's mother Nadine Mouritsen said an anonymous donor had apparently approached Kenzie in hospital and offered to foot the bill to repatriate him.

"I'm still waiting by the phone on tenterhooks to hear whether it's been confirmed or not, but we're hopeful to have him flying home now on Thursday."

The family still had to pay medical fees which had ballooned since their first bill of NZ$16,000, but Mouritsen said friends and family had fundraised more than NZ$21,000 through Facebook and Trade Me, as well as people just donating into a special account.

"I would never have dreamed there would be so much support out there. People are just really incredible," she said.

Mouritsen herself is battling stage three liver cancer.

They still had to pay about 750,000 Thai Baht to Bangkok Hospital, which was just over NZD$30,000.

Mouritsen was initially quoted another US$43,000 (NZ$55,000) to fly her son home on a commercial flight with doctors and nurses on board.

She said details were yet to be confirmed with the donor, but it would be "just so good", to Kenzie home and in a New Zealand hospital.

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Just days into a dream holiday, a taxi driver knocked Kenzie off his scooter, but although police attended a report was never written.

He was kept under armed guard in Bangkok Hospital when the hospital learned Kenzie's medical insurance did not cover riding scooters.

Although Kenzie purchased full travel and medical insurance with Covermore through his travel agents, he was not told there was a higher premium he had to pay to ensure he would be covered if injured while riding a scooter.

Mouritsen said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had to step in when it emerged Bangkok Hospital was withholding painkillers and medication from him while his family scrambled to get the money together.

Kenzie's family lives in Napier but he had moved to Perth not long before his Thailand holiday.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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