PHUKET: Phuket resort owner-manager Vorasit ''Wan'' Issara, badly wounded in a savage Phuket pub bar attack after hours this week, loves Phuket too much to leave, his mother said today.
''His father and I want him back in Bangkok but 'Wan' wants to stay on Phuket because he loves the place,'' Srivara Issara told Phuketwan on the sidelines of a media conference that showed just how lucky the 30-year-old father-to-be is to be alive.
A surgeon at Bangkok Hospital Phuket told Phuket and Bangkok journalists that Khun Wan came within half a centimetre of a quick and horrible death with a knife wound to the stomach that narrowly missed his intestines.
Shocking photographs were shown of all Khun Wan's wounds, including chops with a homemade tomahawk to his back that exposed muscle and tissue and severed a clavicle bone.
As well as head wounds and the knife wound to his stomach, Khun Wan was also stabbed in his legs.
As Khun Wan told Phuketwan exclusively from the hospital's intensive care unit earlier this week, ''I'm lucky to be alive.''
Today his mother and his father Songkran joined surgeon Dr Pongsak Wijitrutjanapan and Bangkok Phuket deputy director Bordin Laead in a detailed account of how the incident happened and the 12-hour operation to repair the extensive damage.
Phuketwan's photo album above shows what surgeons saw - but the images are graphic and readers are advised that they scroll through the photographs at their own discretion.
Khun Wan had gone to the Rassada Pub in Phuket City's Poonpol district about 2.30am with a group that included Hollywood film actor Jeremy Renner. Although the actor was unhurt, accounts of what took place have been published around the world because of his presence.
''This is real, far worse than anything in 'Mission Impossible' or any of Jerry's other movies,'' Khun Srivara said.
Six men have been charged with the attempted murder of Khun Wan, who took the brunt of the savage assault.
''I know my son. My son is a gentle person who would never be the first to start a fight,'' Khun Srivara told Phuketwan privately.
''It's a miracle that he survived. If he had been hit in the neck or the knife wound had pierced his intestine, he would not be alive. We are so grateful for that.''
Phuket's reputation had suffered because of the incident and would continue to suffer as long as weapons and late-night places were tolerated, she added.
''We have to look at how Phuket wants itself to be perceived. I am relieved that my son is safe but sad that the social environment exists to allow this kind of thing to happen on Phuket.''
Khun Wan has consistently promoted high-end Phuket tourism and the family's five star Sri panwa all-villa resort recently was judged as having the second-best beach bar in the world by cnngo.com.
The resort's reputation won't be damaged by the incident. But it does highlight that nobody is immune from the culture of violence that has thrived on Phuket.
Laws? People make up their own on Phuket.
''I would like to send a message to the local authorities,'' Khun Wan's mother said. ''Do your job properly.''
Khun Wan's father said that he still struggled to believe that this kind of thing could happen in Thailand.
''Inevitably, this is bad for the image of Phuket and Thailand,'' he said. ''The authorities need to make sure that laws are enforced.
''One or two people should not be able to gain benefit beyond the law, one or two people should not be able to damage the image of the whole country.''
The economic downturn will mean that Thailand's income from tourism would turn down, he said. ''Now is the time to clean up all of Phuket's problems, and Thailand's problems.''
Dr Bordin said that four people arrived in Emergency at 4.55am on Wednesday morning, and two - Khun Wan and his driver - were admitted.
The other two men had superficial wounds to their heads and were allowed to go home after treatment.
Khun Wan and driver Nopadon Preechawai, 30, were both taken to intensive care. Khun Nopadon had lost a couple of teeth.
Khun Wan told Phuketwan this week that he only realised he had been stabbed in the stomach on the way to hospital and did not know how bad his back wounds were until his shirt was removed.
Phuket's newly arrived Police Commander, Major General Chonsit Wadhnawarangkun, is expected to listen carefully to what Khun Wan's parents have to say.
Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha has ordered the Rassada Pub closed for 90 days and for police to look at security and hours of opening of venues all over Phuket.