Chris Masters arrives in UK after Thailand heart attack

Chris Masters stroking an elephant's trunk Image copyright Yvonne Masters
Image caption Chris Masters went on an elephant ride in Thailand the day before he had a heart attack

A British tourist who had a heart attack in Thailand has arrived at a hospital in the UK after a fight to find a bed.

Chris Masters, 44, was stranded in a Bangkok hospital until his local NHS in Shropshire could find him a bed.

He was flown to intensive care at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital on Wednesday, where bosses apologised for the delay due to high demand for beds.

Mr Masters' wife Yvonne thanked doctors and well-wishers for their support.

More on Chris' story and other news from Shropshire

She said: "I know that there are only a limited number of critical care beds in the county and that one cannot just be made available at the drop of a hat and I would like to thank everybody for their hard work in ensuring that we could get Chris home as soon as possible."

Image copyright Yvonne Masters
Image caption Yvonne and Chris Masters enjoying their holiday before his heart attack

Mrs Masters, from Telford, thought her previously fit and healthy husband had sun stroke when he fell ill after their first week on holiday at the beginning of March.

He went to hospital in Phuket before being flown to Bangkok for specialist treatment.

His aunt Jenny Houghton said doctors had saved his life and called the care he received "wonderful".

A month later, Mr Masters was certified fit to fly, but Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust (SATH) said it had no beds.

His family hoped he could be transferred to Birmingham, where his parents live, or anywhere else in the UK.

But his insurer, MAPFRE Assistance, said hospitals outside his catchment area "would not consider accepting a patient unless under extreme circumstances".

Debbie Kadum, chief operating officer at SATH , said: "Our hospitals have been very busy recently and we would like to apologise to this gentleman's family for the delays they have faced in repatriating him."

Image copyright Yvonne Masters
Image caption Chris Masters' family is "desperate" for him to come home

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