Craig Lindley returns to Barnsley after Thai hospital stay
A man whose medical bills rocketed above £20,000 when he fell seriously ill in Thailand on New Year's Day has returned home to South Yorkshire.
Craig Lindley, 35, from Barnsley, did not have travel insurance when he was paralysed by Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare illness of the nervous system.
His friends raised £32,000 for his treatment via an online appeal.
Mr Lindley was staying on a Thai island to celebrate a friend's wedding.
His brother, Karl, said he collapsed on New Year's Day morning.
"He woke up, went on to his balcony and collapsed, he couldn't feel his legs," said Karl.
Guillain-Barré syndrome affects the peripheral nervous system and affects about 1,200 people in the UK every year.
Mr Lindley was paralysed from head to toe, excluding his left arm.
His brother said the ambulance and speedboat from the island to Koh Samui Hospital in Bangkok cost £17,000, plus hospital bills of £3,000 a day.
Mr Lindley is originally from Hoyle Mill but had been travelling for five years.
He had a five-day course of treatment for the condition, at a cost of £20,000, before being flown home to the UK.
Craig said doctors were amazed by his recovery, and that his friends and medical staff had been "incredible".
They raised £31,733 via the online appeal after discovering Mr Lindley had no valid travel insurance in his documents.
"My friends never bothered me about the financial side - they just let me get better," he said.
"On the second day of treatment I started to feel a positive change. I was paralysed from the top of my head to my toes but I was confident and strong that I would get through this and I would be home soon."