Maddi Neale-Shankster: family need to raise £100k to bring home woman, 21, paralysed in 60ft Thailand fall

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Maddi Neale-Shankster was on holiday in Koh Phangan over the new year

The family of a British woman who fell from a hotel balcony in Thailand have raised more than £75,000 to help get her home.

Maddi Neale-Shankster, from Coventry, was seriously injured in the fall on New Year’s Eve while on holiday on the island of Koh Phangan. However her travel insurance didn’t cover “repatriation” to the UK.

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The 21-year-old’s family launched a fundraising page in a bid to raise the money needed to help her return home from Thailand. In the three days since it launched, the JustGiving page has raised tens of thousands of pounds but the family could still need even more.

Karen Mosley Neale, Maddi’s mother, said: “Our biggest concern now is bringing her home. Her lungs aren’t stable enough to fly without ICD drains on both sides, but to fly with drains requires a repatriation team to fly over with all necessary medical equipment and fly her home safely.”

Here is what happened, how much the fundraiser has made and all you need to know:

What happened to Maddi Neale-Shankster?

The 21-year-old beauty therapist reportedly fell 60 feet from a second-floor balcony during her “dream holiday” in Thailand. Her family have said that Maddi “may never walk again”, with the BBC reporting that she is paralysed from the waist down after the fall on New Year’s Eve.

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Maddi suffered a broken back and two collapsed lungs in the accident, while her ribs also pierced her liver. The BBC reports that her condition had improved significantly following back surgery.

Maddi had travelled to the Thai island of Koh Phangan, which is known for its spectacular beaches and monthly full moon parties, with her partner and friends. But it turned to tragedy and she has remained in hospital since the fall. Her mother Karen said the family had travelled out to Thailand to be by her bedside.

Maddi Neale-Shankster, 21, was injured in a fall from a balcony in Thailand. Picture: FacebookMaddi Neale-Shankster, 21, was injured in a fall from a balcony in Thailand. Picture: Facebook
Maddi Neale-Shankster, 21, was injured in a fall from a balcony in Thailand. Picture: Facebook | Facebook

What has Maddi’s family said?

In launching the JustGiving page three days ago, Karen wrote: “Our beautiful daughter Maddi sadly may never walk again after a devastating fall from a 60ft balcony whilst on her dream holiday in Thailand. Since the fall we are now coping with the realisation that potentially she may never walk again.

“After the fall Maddi was left on the floor for 40 minutes helpless until an ambulance finally arrived. As a family we are absolutely devastated to learn that Maddi didn’t have the adequate travel insurance to cover repatriation - what vibrant 21-year-old would think to read the terms and conditions.”

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The family are bidding to raise the funds needed to help Maddi make it home to the UK.

Maddi via her Facebook pageMaddi via her Facebook page
Maddi via her Facebook page | Facebook

How much does Maddi’s family need to raise?

So far, the JustGiving page for the 21-year-old has raised more than £76,000, surpassing the initial goal of £73,500. However, Karen has said the family may need closer to £100,000 to cover the full costs.

She explained: “We’ve flown out to Thailand and met with the Drs and the British Embassy, we have been advised that medical evacuation could cost up to 100k and treatment costs are mounting daily. We have already paid for her operations, treatments and medications up to date and will continue to do so but Our biggest concern now is bringing her home.

“Her lungs aren’t stable enough to fly without ICD drains on both sides, but to fly with drains requires a repatriation team to fly over with all necessary medical equipment and fly her home safely. To fly without ICD drains the nurses have advised us we will not be able to fly home for one whole year.

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“This is not an option, every single minute here is time taken away from her rehabilitation at home and chance to get the right help to encourage walking again. To put it in black and white - ICD drains require a whole medical team at a high cost but no ICD drains means we can’t fly home for 12 months.

Koh Phangan in the Gulf of Thailand. (Photo by Alex OGLE / AFP) (Photo by ALEX OGLE/AFP via Getty Images)Koh Phangan in the Gulf of Thailand. (Photo by Alex OGLE / AFP) (Photo by ALEX OGLE/AFP via Getty Images)
Koh Phangan in the Gulf of Thailand. (Photo by Alex OGLE / AFP) (Photo by ALEX OGLE/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

“Any donations will only go on medication and transfer costs and if we are lucky enough to exceed this target all donations will go to other charities and hopefully help someone else in as much need as Maddi is Any donations at all we are extremely grateful.”

You can donate to help bring Maddi home via the JustGiving page.

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