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West Norfolk family ‘desperate’ to get relative back after ‘horrendous’ motorbike crash in Philippines

Jason Smith and his wife Maffi on their wedding day. Photo supplied.
Jason Smith and his wife Maffi on their wedding day. Photo supplied.

A West Norfolk family are pleading for help to bring a relative home after a motorbike accident in the Philippines left him badly injured.

Jason Smith’s family have said they are “desperate” to bring him back to the UK as they believe he is not currently getting the care he needs.

Jason Smith. Photo supplied.
Jason Smith. Photo supplied.

Jason, 51, and his wife Maffi were celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary in the Philippines on January 10 when tragedy struck and they were involved in a “horrific” motorbike accident.

The couple were taken to their local hospital and found that Maffi had broken bones while Jason had shattered one of his legs and a wrist.

Jason, whose parents live in Pott Row, was then taken from his local hospital in Kalibo to one in Iloilo which is almost 100 miles and a number of hours away from his home, friends and family.

He is now in a critical condition.

His sister Debbie Bartlett, from Gaywood, said: “We are desperate to get him home by air ambulance, as he’s on a ventilator, and it’s going to cost £130,000.”

She said domestic flights will not bring him back.

The family have set up a fundraising page to help them pay for a proportion of the costs.

Jason’s sister-in-law Jane Smith said: “Some friends and family have travelled from Kalibo and England to be with Jason, but the medical costs are extortionate, and we are all struggling to meet his needs.

“But to make matters worse, our Jason isn’t getting better, his health is deteriorating and now his toes are turning black and dying, and he now has had a tracheotomy to aid his breathing.

“His shattered leg has been cut open and left open and gaping.

“It’s like a horror film and we don’t know what way to turn.

“The care Jason is receiving is barely keeping him alive and isn’t helping to make things right.”

The family said they have contacted dignitaries and officials at the embassies but so far it has been without success.

“We need to find these funds to bring him home. It’s his life we are paying for,” they said.

“Please know this – Jason is everybody’s friend, every child’s fun uncle, every pal’s best man.

“He lives to laugh and have fun and share his laughter. He enhances the lives of all who meet him, and once met, never forgotten. He goes out of his way to help people, whoever they are.”

The family said they are hoping members of the public will do the same for Jason and help bring him home.

To help the cause, go to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/markmarsom-ridgway.

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