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A physiotherapist assists Chris Channon during his last therapy

Horror of Being Left for Dead on Thai Holiday Island Lingers as Tourist Walks Again

Saturday, January 17, 2015
PHUKET: A tourist who was beaten with a steel pipe and left for dead on the Thai island of Koh Lipe has staged a remarkable recovery, learning to walk again at home in Canada.

Now for the first time, the Toronto Star newspaper has revealed the nightmare that almost killed Chris Channon.

It appears to be a previously unreported attack on a tourist in Thailand that almost passed without notice.

According to ''Just four months ago, the 50-year-old father was flown home to Toronto paralysed from the neck down after being attacked and left for dead on a Thai beach.

''From his hospital bed back then, Channon vowed to the Star he would walk out the hospital's front doors. On Thursday afternoon he did just that.

''Channon, formerly a humanitarian aid worker in Africa, was injured when he was hit in the back of the neck with a steel pipe as he wandered along a beachfront trail in Koh Lipe.

''He spent an entire night sprawled on the sand, paralysed, as mosquitoes and fire ants gnawed his flesh and stray dogs licked his face.

''Lying just metres from the water's edge, Channon could hear the waves coming closer, but his feeble cries for help went unanswered.

''Around dawn the next day, Channon was transported to a health centre on a piece of plywood on the sidecar of a police motorcycle.

''He was then taken via speedboat to a hospital in Hat Yai, where he underwent emergency surgery.

''When Channon arrived back in Toronto in September, he was diagnosed as an incomplete quadriplegic, meaning he might one day regain movement through intensive rehabilitation.''

Now, that day has come, the newspaper reports.

''Chris Channon smiled as he shuffled out of the hospital doors, his arms hanging limply by his sides, his fingers slightly curled.

''He took 12 small steps, slowly turned around, lifted his head and laughed as he yelled 'Freedom!' into the wintry air.''

Phuketwan wonders how many other cases like this one escape media attention in Thailand.

Phuket readers will recall similarities with the case of American Jonathan Mark Lemley, 28, who was found in a coma on Karon beach. A local youth owned up for that offence.

There appears to be no clue as to who almost killed Chris Channon. He is struggling to regain use of his arms but managed to scratch his nose one day recently.

The sound of lapping water still makes him panic: ''He is yet to come to terms with the horrible night he spent on the beach in Koh Lipe.''

Toronto Star's Report:


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Glad to hear that Chris Channon is making a recovery and hopefully can have improved movement and quality of life.

Posted by Feisty Farang on January 17, 2015 12:47


Motive for attack mentioned ed?
wallet iPhone or jewelry gone?

Posted by slickmelb on January 17, 2015 19:05

Editor Comment:

Not clear from the Toronto Star. Their main emphasis was on the victim's recovery.


To allow silencing this kind of horrible cases by Thai authorities is not realising and be aware of social media and lack of English skills from those in Power. I really hope that in the future Phuketwan will be integral translated into Thai.. A great suggestion from a Phuketwan reader... It will bring awareness of important news. Often foreigners, expats and the few ThaI readers are better or solely informed of all kind of relevant and important issues. If more Thai aware of all what we get facts from maybe it would resuLt in better spread knowledge and mind changes among more Thai. A lot of what is published in the English papers get never any coverage in Thai papers. How can we expect attitude/opinion changes among Thai if they get no awareness first. A Spoed and full recovery wished For Chris Chann on. Amazing & Ashaming this has been kept out of the news for so long. Thank you PW for informing us. Thailand / Thai officials still not aware or reading Social & foreign media.

Posted by phuketgreed on January 18, 2015 09:08


I third phuketgreed, it would help if Phuketwan were also in Thai. My wife, for one, would read it sometimes..and by osmosis her large family would catch would be the talk of the town in their world, for a few days..

But translation may not fly with Thai authorities, and that would speak another volume..

Posted by farang888 on January 19, 2015 22:46


Except it was first reported October 18 2014

Posted by The News Mare on January 24, 2015 00:17


I dunno. This stinks somewhat, no?

Posted by bif on March 8, 2015 07:03

Wednesday June 26, 2019
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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