A 25-year-old tourist crashes his scooter on a Thai island. At first, he can't go back – he doesn't have international health insurance.
Ko Samui – Many tourists rent a scooter in Thailand to get from A to B. The cost of renting is cheap, you don't have to spend a long time looking for a parking space like you do by car, and you are not bound by the departure times of the bus and train. What sounds positive at first, however, ended in a nightmare for a German tourist: While he was on his scooter on Ko Samui – an island in the Gulf of Thailand – he had a serious accident.
German travels to Thailand and breaks his neck – ambulance flight back costs just under 150,000 euros
25-year-old Erik Klamm was exploring the island with a friend when the tire of his two-wheeler suddenly burst. He fell so badly that he broke his neck and a lumbar vertebra in the accident. Severely injured, he was taken to a Thai hospital. As if that weren't tragic enough, the tourist from North Rhine-Westphalia had no international health insurance, as the WDR reported at tickr.news on Instagram.
As a result, it was not possible to repatriate the seriously injured person for the time being. The ambulance flight would have cost him a good 147,000 euros – a sum that the family cannot afford on their own.
Nevertheless, it was clear that the young man should go to Germany in order to receive the best possible medical care. A good friend of the victim therefore started a fundraising campaign to finance the flight. He set up his own crowdfunding page for this purpose. Completely unexpectedly, so many people took part that after only two and a half days, 150,000 euros were raised.
Scooters are one of the main means of transport in Thailand. For a German vacationer, the scooter ride ended in the hospital. © Thomas Trutschel/imago/Symbolbild
Fundraising campaign makes it possible to fly back from Thailand to Germany
"Nobody expected it. It has taken on such proportions. We were just speechless, overjoyed. And that also gave Erik the strength, because he also felt bad because he put us in such a situation. We are incredibly grateful, just overwhelmed," Lilia Klamm, Erik Klamm's mother, told WDR.
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In the meantime, the 25-year-old is in a Bielefeld hospital, where he is being treated and operated on by specialists. The case shows that if you are planning a stay abroad, you should definitely take out international health insurance in addition to travel cancellation insurance. Even if no one expects to really need it, it can make a huge difference when in doubt. Not only the return transport, but also all treatment costs are covered by the insurance.
Earlier this year, another tragic accident occurred in Thailand: a German tourist died after an SUV crashed into a tour bus. (tt)