‘I feel helpless’: Family of Scot seriously ill in Thailand launch appeal to bring her home
The father of a Scottish woman taken ill in Thailand said he fears she may have meningitis as he fundraises £25,000 to bring his daughter home for medical treatment.
Rebekah Fulton, 25, is currently battling a serious infection in a hospital in Phuket, and her dad, James Geddes, has described her as ‘very ill’.
The 48-year-old pleaded for support to raise enough money to fly Rebekah home as he fears she may have meningitis or “something similar”.
However, it is not yet known by medics what is actually wrong with her.
James, from Barrhead, East Renfrewshire, said the fundraising drive is to try and bring Rebekah to Scotland so she can receive treatment closer to home.
So far £9,800 has been raised of a £25,000 target.
Speaking from Thailand, as he keeps a vigil at his daughter’s hospital bed, James said: “It is very difficult.
“She’s my girl and it is so difficult to see her lying there.
“I just feel helpless.”
Rebekah, a former pupil at Gleniffer High School in Paisley, Renfrewshire, had been travelling around Asia and Australia before settling down in Thai Island of Ko Phi Phi Don, where she holds a non-visitor status visa.
She had complained of an ear infection but the extent of her illness only became clear to James last week when the owner of the hostel where she was staying called him to raise the alarm.
James said: “Around two weeks ago, she had been complaining about an ear infection and I told her to go and get it sorted.
“She went to a pharmacy and was given antibiotics but that didn’t work and the infection spread to a lymph gland and she now has a huge swelling under her right arm.
“She was on another course of antibiotics but, last Thursday, was complaining that she was hot and very tired.
“She wasn’t eating properly and had no appetite, which I thought wasn’t right.
“On Thursday, the person who owns the hostel she is living in on the island phoned to tell me Rebekah was very ill but wasn’t fit to travel.”
James decided to fly to Thailand and arrived on Ko Phi Phi Don on Sunday before taking Rebekah straight to the island’s medical facility.
He added: “They tried to treat her but, because they didn’t have the facilities, I had to get a private speedboat to get her off the island and over to Phuket.
“The hospital there screened her blood and her white blood cell count was more than double the high end of normal.
“They then put her on more antibiotics.
“It has been very, very difficult today because she has got a secondary infection.
“Rebekah had a brain scan today and they are talking about the possibility of her having meningitis, encephalitis or something similar - but they just don’t know.
“It is very, very difficult.
“I’m taking this minute by minute.”
James said he has been overwhelmed with the support he has received since setting up GoFundMe in the hope of raising enough money to fly Rebekah home.
He said: “I contacted a company in England about flying her home and they told me it would be a minimum of £25,000 - and that is just for a medical assistant.”
To make a donation, visit the family’s GoFundMe page.