Aussie woman’s birthday trip to Thailand a
‘holiday from hell’ after horror scooter crash
A BIRTHDAY trip to Thailand has become a living nightmare for an Australian woman who may lose her leg after a gruesome scooter accident.
|IT WAS meant to be an idyllic holiday in Thailand to celebrate her 30th birthday.|
But Brisbane woman Stacey Liddle is instead holed up in a Phuket hospital and facing the prospect of losing her leg after she became badly injured in a horror scooter accident.
Ms Liddle’s loved ones are desperately trying to raise money to bring her back to Australia amid fears her seriously injured leg will need to be amputated.
And they’re also struggling to deal with the gruesome crash that turned Ms Liddle’s dream birthday trip into a nightmare.
Speaking to news.com.au from Thailand, Ms Liddle’s friend, Sinead Markham, said the pair were riding scooters in Chalong in Phuket when the accident happened.
She said she was riding ahead of Ms Liddle when she heard a horn beeping. She turned around just in time to see a bus collide with her friend.
“I turned [back] to the front so I didn’t crash and looked in the side mirror and saw Stacey being dragged under the bus and the back wheels of the bus drove over her,” Ms Markham said.
“She wasn’t moving and I went completely blank thinking she was dead.
“She finally made a moaning sound and then we both started screaming because we saw how bad her leg was.
“It was completely torn apart, her knee and shin bone was fully exposed and her flesh and calf muscle [were] lying on the road and [she] lost a tremendous amount of blood.”
Ms Markham said doctors at Vachira Phuket Hospital said the flesh in Ms Liddle’s injured left leg was “dying” and amputation was possible.
Ms Liddle, whose birthday was on Monday, has already received at least 10 blood transfusions and can’t feel sensations below her left knee.
|The scene of the accident in Chalong. Picture: Sinead MarkhamSource:Supplied|
Ms Markham also said she was unsatisfied with hygiene standards at hospital and desperately wanted her friend to receive medical care back home in Australia.
“The first day I was [at the hospital] her bed sheets were covered in sweat and blood,” she said.
“They gave her a bed bath on these same sheets and didn’t change them for a few hours afterwards. I was terrified she would get an infection and I have just found out now on the fourth day she now has an infection.”
Ms Markham said Ms Liddle was “not doing good right now”.
“She’s in a lot of pain, agony and discomfort,” she said.
|Doctors have discussed the possibility of amputation. Picture: GoFundMeSource:Supplied|
And she said she couldn’t forget the image of her friend being hit by the bus, describing it as “horribly traumatic”.
“I have had horrible flashbacks of Stacey screaming in pain in the middle of the street,” she said.
“I keep hearing her saying she’s losing her vision and seeing all the blood pouring out from her.”
Ms Liddle’s cousin Katrina, who has flown into Thailand along with Ms Liddle’s mother, has launched a GoFundMe page to raise $15,000 needed to bring her home.
While Ms Liddle took out insurance before her trip, it appears her coverage does not insure her against this incident.
|Ms Liddle’s leg was badly injured in the crash.|
|Loved ones are raising money to bring the injured woman home to Australia.|
“We need to cover a medical flight to bring Stacey home and all the medical bills in Thailand that she’s had now including the surgeries and hospital stays,” Ms Markham said.
“We need minimum $35,000 and that’s purely just for the medical flight, and that’s not even starting with the medical bills.”
Scooters and motorbikes are a major cause of death and injury for Australian travellers in South East Asia.
In Thailand, where Ms Liddle had her crash, road accidents are a growing concern for authorities, especially in the holiday hot spots of Koh Samui, Phuket and Pattaya.
Australians are 6.5 times more likely to be killed on Thailand’s roads than in a traffic accident at home. The United Nations ranks Thailand’s roads as the second most deadly in the world.
Last month Sydney woman Kate Fitzsimons, whose older sister, Nicole, was killed in a motorbike accident in Thailand in 2012, urged Australians heading to South East Asia to be careful about riding motorbikes and scooters.
“My sister took a risk that she would never take here in Australia, and it something a lot of us do when we travel overseas,” Ms Fitzsimons told news.com.au.
|Scooter accidents are a major cause of death and injury to Australians in South East Asia. Picture: iStockSource:istock|
“It is naivety, we assume nothing bad will happen on a holiday and nine times out of ten they are the best memories of our life so we don’t even want to comprehend the worst-case scenario. You never think that will happen to you on holiday.”
Phil Sylvester from Travel Insurance Direct told news.com.au the insurer received a large number of claims involving motorbike or scooter accidents in Southeast Asia from people who tried to follow the rules.
He said the helmets, road rules and traffic conditions in Thailand were sub-par compared to Australian standards and people often got seriously injured in even minor traffic accidents.