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'Trapped' tourist Sean Kenzie hopes to fly off Phuket thanks to a donor

'Trapped' Phuket Bike Crash Tourist to Fly Home Thanks to Mystery Donor

Tuesday, July 24, 2012
PHUKET: Tourist Sean Kenzie, trapped on Phuket in a wrangle with a private hospital over insurance, revealed today that he hopes to board a medical evacuation flight home on Thursday.

The 27-year-old motorcycle crash victim has been told that an anonymous donor has come to his rescue to pay the high cost of a medevac flight to New Zealand with a doctor.

Carrying a machine to drain his lungs, Mr Kenzie told Phuketwan today at a Phuket hospital: ''Details have to be confirmed but I'm delighted to hear the news and I hope it all goes according to plan.''

He is now coping with life in Phuket's overcrowded Vachira Phuket Hospital, where few people speak English, patients stretch out in lift foyers and he lives on cans of tuna and protein supplements.

He still has a top-up bill for 750,000 baht to pay at the luxurious private Bangkok Hospital Phuket, which is just a kilometre down the road in Phuket City from his present simple accommodation.

Back in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, family and friends rushed to his aid via Facebook when they heard he needed money: brother Kane offered to sell space for a tattoo on his body and friend Michelle Carlton auctioned herself off to a stranger on a blind date.

The hospital debt kept mounting because Mr Kenzie, who had been living and working in Perth for four years, thought he had a top-level insurance coverage that included motorcycle crashes.

A van hit Mr Kenzie from behind as he sat on a hired bike on the side of a road on the first day of his Phuket holiday. He was wearing a helmet, but even so he was knocked into a coma and suffered life-threatening injuries.

The bills mounted up in intensive care and with extensive surgery at Bangkok Hospital Phuket, where Spanish guitarists have been known to serenade customers in the Accounts lobby.

When the hospital discovered Mr Kenzie's Cover More policy did not cover motorcycle crashes, his problems grew more critical. Only after most of the bills were paid was he suddenly transferred out of Bangkok Hospital Phuket.

He remains angry at the insurance company because he says that when he took out a policy, he specifically asked for the highest level of coverage.

''I've been put through the wringer,'' he said. ''There have been some good aspects, though.

''My girlfriend Amy [Myles] had to follow me to Phuket on the next flight from Perth because her passport was delayed.

''If she had come with me on the same flight, she would have been sitting behind me on the motorcycle and taken the full force of the smash.''

Now he hopes for a reunion in New Zealand soon. He is also grateful for regular visits from a volunteer Christian worker on Phuket, Angelika Langner, who brings food and good company.

Mr Kenzie does not know where his hospital destination will be in New Zealand, but he does know his smashed jaw will have to be broken and reset, and he expects to have more surgery on his collapsed lungs and a damaged knee.

''I can't speak highly enough of those who helped me,'' he said, ''both those I know and those I don't know. ''I'll be back on Phuket one day,'' he said. ''Thailand owes me a holiday.''

His advice to other travellers is plain: always check your insurance. And if you want to ride a motorcycle on Phuket, be as careful with the insurance as you need to be on the roads.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


I've not really follow this, but isn't the driver of the vehicle that hit him responsible or was it the usual hit and run away job? Surely if the driver stayed put then his insurance would be liable for the costs.

Posted by Graham on July 24, 2012 18:19


A van hit Mr Kenzie from behind as he sat on a hired bike on the side of a road on the first day of his Phuket holiday

So unless there are other unstated circumstances, the van driver is at fault and his insurance or private money should be paying for the hospital bill.

Were the police involved to ensure that the guilty party paid up???

Posted by Simon Luttrel on July 24, 2012 18:23


Wonderful news. I wish him a speedy recovery.
I still don't understand why CCTV cameras have not identified the van and it's driver and why the insurance on that vehicle didn't pay?

Posted by G Horne on July 24, 2012 18:30


what a nice story, hope it goes to plan for him..

Posted by poppops on July 24, 2012 18:33


C'mon should know by now that if Mr. Kenzie hadn't been sitting on his bike on the side of the road, the accident would never have happen...clearly Mr. Kenzies fault

Posted by zig on July 24, 2012 18:52


Good ending at a sad story, will join the other posters that do not understand why the driver was not made to pay for the bill..

Posted by Bjarne on July 24, 2012 18:54


Could it be that the questions about the whereabouts of the van driver and questions about van driver's insurance cannot be answered as the answer would or could be considered by our authorities as an attempt to discredit Phuket's good reputation? Just curious???

Posted by Mr. K on July 24, 2012 19:44

Editor Comment:

As there's no indication that Mr Kenzie has made a police report, all the talk about the other vehicle is speculative. Perhaps the police should have questioned Mr Kenzie at some point . . . perhaps they still should.


I wonder as well what happened to the ( guilty ? ) van driver ? Did he get charged and if so with what ? Sadly these things are not followed up or just wiped under the carpet.

Posted by Resident on July 24, 2012 20:03


Great news for Mr. Kenzie. Great he could pay some money to the hospital. Generous spender how awesome is that.

Maybe one other lesson to be learned: do not ride motorbikes on Phuket at all. That is just totally dangerous.

The other car... I am also curious about it, but when Mr. Kenzie does not press charges? Anyway, I hope for a happy end for him and that he will return to his strength. Seems like a far way still to go.

Posted by Lena on July 24, 2012 23:38


That is fantastic news, the anon doner is an angel it restores faith that there are some wonderfully giving people out there somewhere

Posted by Jenny on July 25, 2012 08:53


This is more aimed at long term foreigners in Phuket. When I transferred my medical insurance to international cover it covers me for medical expenses (subject to limits which are very high) however they occur, including by accident.

Posted by HappyFarang on July 25, 2012 10:18


i wonder if the fellow had an international driving permit and a licence to ride the m/bike?
if not, NO COVER

Posted by andy on July 25, 2012 18:14


The taxi driver came to our hotel every day looking for money from me,,,as sean was in hospital,,,My thai partner told them not to come to the hotel any more looking for money,,as we know you don't ride a bike backwards and crash,,,the taxi at the start told us sean hit him,,I said i will pay for the bike for sean,,,as long as i could see it,,and when i seen it there was nothing wrong with the front of the bike,,,But we are falang so it is our fault

Posted by aussie on August 6, 2012 11:54

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