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Therapists watch Shane's first steps as he recovers from a Phuket crash

Phuket Coma Diver Inspires New Action Force

Monday, March 8, 2010
THERE is no more powerful force in the universe than a mother with a point to prove. The photograph above of Phuket diver Shane Free learning to walk all over again says it all.

By his side from the minute she learned of his island motorcycle crash and coma has been his mother, Monica Vearer.

From Phuket she took Shane back to Britain, where he is now regaining his grip on life.

''He is speaking and walking with help, dressing himself and reading and he has started to do a bit on the laptop,'' says Monica, who cares for Shane night and day.

''He has started to remember some of his past, but that will take time. He will soon be going to 'intense recovery'.

''Shane still has his sense of humor, which is lovely. He is gaining strength every day. I am still with him 24/7.''

Monica has taken it upon herself, as mothers do, to start campaigning for real motorcycle safety on Phuket.

She wants all people on motorcycles to wear helmets. She wants them to be taught to drive safely.

And unlike those people who say nothing can ever change, she believes it can be done. She's a mother.

Most of the victims of Phuket's so-called ''motorcycle madness'' tend to be boys, but lots of girls die needlessly, too.

Out there on Phuket are many mothers who have lost sons or daughters, mothers who have maimed children, mothers who still weep.

The toll of lost lives and the web of injuries is huge and constantly growing. All of it, as Monica knows, is painful, economically damaging and avoidable.

So today, Phuketwan is acting on Monica's behalf to launch Mothers or Motorcycles, or MOM.

We are hoping to inspire an army of mothers to join Monica in demanding an end to the senseless destruction on Phuket's roads.

Monica is right. The abysmal toll can be slowed, perhaps even stopped. She believes young lives can be saved. She believes the damage can be reduced.

And so do we. And only mothers can do it.

''I hope to bring Shane back to Thailand one day to see his friends and the the doctors and nurses,'' Monica wrote in her latest update about Shane's remarkable progress.

''I do hope one day the Thai people will realise it is better for everyone to wear a helmet on a motorbike, and that means children and mothers as well.''

Mothers, fathers, anyone on Phuket looking to help can join MOM. We'll be listing more information soon. If you have an idea on how we can reduce the road toll, please call 076 236836, and ask for MOM.
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Comments have been disabled for this article.


MOM- a great idea in principle but given that the majority of accidents involve the Thai inhabitants of Phuket, how do you intend to spread the word? Speed, lack of protection and lane discipline are the biggest contributors to the high accident rate.

I seem to remember a highly publicised scheme to equip Patong Motorbike taxi drivers with helmets a few months ago, but most appear to have sold them as there appears to be none in daily use.

Posted by Mister Ree on March 8, 2010 23:06


Wearing a helmet is a personal choice that affects no one else. Time would be better spent teaching Thai drivers to respect the destructive energies of inertia.

When a culture believes in a fantasy afterlife that will be better than the present life - no reason to care about life.

Editor: That's a fantasy perpetuated more by onlookers than the majority of modern Thais.

Posted by Horse Doctor on March 9, 2010 08:56


Great mom many bike riders do not wear helmets...sometimes 3 or more on a bike.

Is it that they cannot afford it? If so, let's ask the police who are able to check on this matter to find the reason/s!

Support for helmets can be arranged, a strong public awareness campaign is urgently due!

Let's end or at least reduce the loss of life, accidents turning into handicap persons!

Posted by phetploy on March 9, 2010 10:16


I don't think it matters that the majority people are Thai. Any lives saved must be for the good. Any little bit of input that we can give will help.

Just by you saying Speed, lack of protection and lane discipline will give food for thought.

Phuketwan has left a number for people to ring to give their thoughts on this, and at some time will publish this and then hand it on.

I do think the police could do much more.Schools could also be involved in road safety education. The other thing i notice while on Phuket: traffic light zebra crossings where no one took notice.

How about employing people to make sure people stop at zebra crossing? If not, then a fine, and at the same time if not wearing a helmet another fine.

It may take a long time to enforce but the penny will drop at some point. And if the government realises it will cost them less money in hospital bills, they may start enforcing things quicker.

There will come a time, if the road problem is not sorted, when people will stop coming to Phuket. It might be a rich town now, but it will only last as long as people want to come.

I know Phuket has allot of other serious problems but you have to start somewhere.

Many thanks for now to you all.
Shane's Mum

Posted by Monica on March 10, 2010 06:50

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