The family of a Livingston dad who collapsed on a trip to Prague from a brain haemorrhage are raising cash to pay for a specially equipped air ambulance to bring him home.
Graeme McNeil was on holiday with friends when he suddenly collapsed in the street and was rushed to a nearby hospital where it was discovered he had suffered a brain haemorrhage.
The father of one underwent two emergency operations to relieve the pressure on his brain which helped save his life but he remains in a critical condition.
His family in West Lothian were told to expect the worst and have flown out to be at his bedside with the 33-year-old now being in a coma for almost a month.
Mum, Heather Stanley, 57, told the Evening News: “It’s been devastating these past few weeks. It’s just so hard to explain how we’re all feeling. The uncertainty behind it all is just horrible because we have no idea what condition he is going to be in when he wakes up.
“We’ve been told he could have brain damage but we just don’t know at this stage and it’s frightening.
“We wake up not knowing what is going to happen today. We have no explanation as to what is happening so we’re completely blind to Graeme’s condition.
“We have all been out. I came back three days ago and his dad went out yesterday and his brother is going back on Friday. Last week there were six of us there. His daughter sees her daddy all the time and is wondering why she can’t see him.
“We want to be there when he wakes up but we’ve been given no indication as to how long he will be in the coma for.”
The family is in the middle of a dispute with Graeme’s insurance company and in the meantime have set up a gofundme page to help pay for a private air ambulance, costing in excess of £20,000, so he can return to Scotland for vital treatment.
The civil engineer’s family have been overwhelmed by the hundreds of people who have donated to the appeal with almost £23,000 being raised in just a few days. Livingston MP Hannah Bardell shared the family’s appeal on social media, adding: “Do please help if you can, this poor family really needs your support.
“At the moment he is not stable enough to be transported home,” said Heather. “But when he is, you can bet your bottom dollar he’ll be coming home as soon as possible.
“The language barrier with the doctors is causing problems as we’re not able to understand what’s happening with Graeme.
“We’re going to get a government approved helicopter and make sure a specialist team can be with him on the journey to Scotland. We can’t thank everyone enough so far for donating. It’s absolutely fantastic.”
With the football fanatic being fit and healthy, Heather says the family is puzzled as to why he is now hooked up to a life support machine.
She added: “We don’t know how it happened but it is just so scary to think it can happen at any time for a number of reasons. It is so scary, it could happen to anyone. He is so fit and healthy; if he wasn’t he’d probably be dead now.
“We were told initially to expect the worst and the family has just been through so much. It’s horrendous and we just want him back home where he can be surrounded by his family and friends to give him the best chance of recovery.”
To donate go to www.gofundme.com/bring-graeme-home