Scotland

Commonwealth Games judo medallist in Vietnam motorbike accident

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Media captionStephanie won silver competing for Scotland in the women's 57kg event at the 2014 Commonwealth Games

A Scottish Commonwealth Games judo star is in a coma and fighting for her life after a motorbike accident in Vietnam.

Stephanie Inglis, 27, who won silver at the 2014 Glasgow games, suffered severe head injuries when her skirt caught in a wheel, and pulled her off the bike.

The incident happened on Tuesday in Ha Long, north east Vietnam, where she had gone to teach English for six months.

A campaign has been launched to help pay for medical costs, after her travel insurer said she was not covered.

She has been transferred to hospital in Hanoi, but doctors have warned that she has sustained severe brain injuries, her sister Stacey said.

'My big sister'

Stacey told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme: "She is in a very critical state.

"She is in a coma. I don't really know what is going to happen. There has been a lot of bleeding to the brain and swelling.

"She is my big sister. I look up to her so much. I just want her home."

Her parents, who live in Inverness, have flown to Vietnam, and have been with her at the hospital, Stacey said.

Image copyright Stacey Inglis
Image caption Stephanie Inglis had gone to Vietnam to teach English
Image caption Stacey Inglis said her sister was in a critical state in hospital

Earlier, Stacey told the BBC: "Mum and dad are just distraught, they just want her to be alive and get back here. At the minute the hospital is monitoring her, but they've said her whole brain is injured, and it will be a long recovery if she pulls through."

"At the moment we're sitting tight and keeping our fingers crossed."

The 25-year-old, who went to visit her sister in Vietnam last month, added: "She's an amazing person, and amazing big sister, and she was absolutely loving it out there."

Stephanie was being taxied by motorbike to the school where she works when the accident happened.

Image copyright Stacey Inglis
Image caption Going to Vietnam was Stephanie's first venture outside of her sport, a friend has told the BBC

Family friend Khalid Ghelan, from Edinburgh, has started an online fundraising page to help the family with medical costs running into thousands of pounds. More than £20,000 was donated within four hours of the page being set up and within a few hours later had reached £72,000.

Mr Ghelan told the Victoria Derbyshire programme that Stephanie had gone to south-east Asia in the belief she had the correct insurance.

He said the medical authorities in Vietnam seemed "more concerned" about who was paying her hospital costs "than saving her life".

'Beating adversity'

Describing the kind of person Stephanie is, he said: "Judo is a very physical, ruthless sport, but off the mat you would never think Stephanie could get into a physical fight. She never raised a hand to anybody, never said anything bad about anyone."

Going to Vietnam was the athlete's first venture on her own outside of her sport, Mr Ghlean added.

Earlier, he said: "She has been a fighter her whole life, following in her father's footsteps and becoming an international athlete, competing for Great Britain all over the world, beating adversity," he said.

"If anyone can pull through this it's Stephanie."

Image copyright Stacey Inglis
Image caption A friend said Ms Inglis has been fighting adversity "her whole life"
Image copyright Stacey Inglis
Image caption The judo athlete celebrating her success at the Commonwealth Games with her grandparents

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland, Mr Ghelan said: "I've just had an update this morning and apparently the hospital that she is in are saying that they could operate to alleviate pressure on her brain but they are not sure if it might make her worse.

"But around every corner, the one thing that the hospital keeps doing is complaining about how much it is going to cost and the financial situation.

"One of the reasons I set up the fund is because they are more concerned about the money than they are about doing everything they can to help Stephanie."

He added: "Now she is fighting for a lot more than a medal and we are just hoping and praying that she pulls through."

Stephanie won silver competing for Scotland in the women's 57kg event at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and has also won medals at tournaments all over the world.

The UK Foreign Office said: "We are in contact with the family of a British national who has been hospitalised in Vietnam, and will continue to offer support at this difficult time."

Image copyright Stacey Inglis

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