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Shane Free's mother Monica can smile now on Phuket: he is going home

Update: Phuket Coma Diver Bound for Britain

Monday, January 18, 2010
UPDATE

SHANE Free was on his way to Phuket International Airport from Vachira Hospital this morning, accompanied by a nurse and a doctor.

Original Report

PHUKET diver Shane Free is flying home on Tuesday, having emerged at last from a long coma after a motorcycle crash on Phuket.

His mother Monica Vearer is delighted. Friends were visiting the 32-year-old diver at Vachira Hospital when Shane's mother told Phuketwan the good news.

''Four or five days ago now Shane came out of his coma,'' she said. ''He is responding fairly well.''

He can open his eyes, move his legs and arms, and is doing just what his mum tells him to do.

''I am feeding him now a little bit at a time because he can swallow,'' she said.

''On Tuesday, I am going to be taking him back to England with Thai Airways.''

Some of the cause for his recovery lies with the network of friends who wished him well. His Facebook friends were tallying close to the 3000 mark at the weekend, testimony to his character and the special nature of the case.

A well-known member of Phuket's dive community with his own business, www.thephuketdiver.com, Shane was found seriously injured on a road in southern Phuket about 3am on December 13.

All his personal possessions had been stolen so there was no means of identification, apart from the motorcycle's registration.

Nurses at Vachira Hospital in Phuket City played detective and eventually managed to identify the man in the coma, with help from British honorary consul Martin Carpenter.

The cost of the flight back to Heathrow Airport, via Bangkok: ''It's costing 24,000 pounds, which is over one million baht,'' Shane's mother said.

The network of friends is helping to meet the cost and once he is back in Britain, hospital expenses will cease mounting up.

Mystery still surrounds the incident that put him in the coma.

''We're still not sure what happened. It's a main road, somebody must have seen something. It could have been someone swerving and Shane has moved out of the way. It could be something more sinister. We just don't know.

''And usually when you are in a long coma, you don't actually remember.''

While Shane's mother is full of praise for the doctors and nurses at Vachira Hospital, she believes it's time for changes on the roads on Phuket and Thailand for the sake of saving lives.

''This is now so serious the government has got to step in and say 'this is unacceptable,''' she said.

''I see plenty of police in the town and I still see people riding around with no crash helmets. They should be pulled over.

''And there should be just two on a bike, not five. They need to start stepping in and doing something about it.''
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Comments

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Best wishes for a complete recovery to Shane! Have a good trip!

Posted by Fritz Pinguin on January 18, 2010 12:33

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What great news that he came out of his coma! Thank you for the follow up reporting!

Posted by VFaye on January 18, 2010 13:02

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Mrs Vearer is right about one thing. Something MUST be done about Phuket's roads, especially the motorbike riders who flout the law. If the police were to enforce the road rules and fine riders, both Thai and farang, and their passengers, for not wearing helmets, and the death-defying bikers who insist on riding without tail lights, they would have more than enough money to pave Phuket's streets with gold. They might even save a few lives as well.

Posted by Phil on January 18, 2010 15:32

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Great news as I was wondering how he was doing. Agree with VFaye and thank you for the follow up.

Posted by camjunkie on January 18, 2010 20:18

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very very great news cant wait to see him things must get better now see you soon love

Posted by shanes nan on January 19, 2010 04:29


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