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Thai Media Appeals to Help Trapped German Tourist

Tuesday, August 31, 2010
THE case of a German tourist trapped in his own body inside a Thai hospital is being related in Thailand's media outlets to help him fly home.

Now emerging from a coma yet still unable to speak, Matthias Stefan Koch, 38, has been confined to a bed at Songklanadarind Hospital in Had Yai since October 25 last year when he sustained serious injuries in a fall at Had Yai airport.

Since then, the bill for his hospital treatment has accumulated to 1.8 million, while the cost of flying him home to Germany is estimated at 400,000 baht.

Because he is unable to speak, nobody knows precisely how Mr Koch incurred the injuries. He had a history of mental illness before he was found after climbing and falling from an elevated passageway in an air-conditioning control room at Had Yai airport around 9pm.

He was due to fly to Germany and his home town of Scheblitz the following day. Traces of sleeping pills were found in his blood.

Parinya Bantito, who heads the hospital's social welfare department, said that Mr Koch was a frequent visitor to Had Yai who enjoyed the life there and stayed at the same guesthouse.

As with other embassies, the German embassy has a policy of not paying hospital bills incurred by its travelling citizens.

With Mr Kock's debt growing and with no likelihood of help coming from any other source, after 10 months the director of the hospital has opened a special account for donations to help meet costs and help send Mr Koch home.

The account name is slightly different, however. People wishing to help should deposit donations with Siam Commercial Bank Account No. 565 4 39248 5 in the name of Kock Matthias Stefen. Khun Parinya can be reached by telephone at 074 455000.

Comments

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One has to ask why a tourist has no travel or medical insurance - also has he no family or relatives who can help out?

Posted by Pete on August 31, 2010 16:59

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Dear Editor
Send this article to the German Media!
Trust me the embassy will act fast shortly after you send the article.
Regards

Posted by Mr. K on August 31, 2010 21:28

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the German Media has knowledge of the Story for some time and several articles have been written.
http://www.tz-online.de/aktuelles/bayern/traurige-geschichte-matthias-koch-tz-906529.html

Posted by McGee on September 14, 2010 16:33

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I have helped the police in many cases with stranded persons. The European Embassies will help to make contact to family and friends trying to raise money, for the return trip.
But no European country will pay for a safe return of their own citizens, shame on them.

Posted by The volunteer on September 25, 2010 14:02

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according to the german-media http://www.bild.de/BILD/news/telegramm/news-ticker,rendertext=14013398.html
he was flown home September 19...

Posted by herbert on September 25, 2010 19:51

Editor Comment:

Yes, we reported his departure as an item in MediaWATCH around then.

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People able to fly in Thailand alone, and for many times already, I supposed is able also to know in which kind or risk could be involved! For this reason exist the travel insurances! It's the slapdash attitude of many people...

Posted by Richard on September 25, 2010 23:57


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