A young Australian man’s Thailand holiday turned into a nightmare just three days into the trip.
Tommy Kirk, 24, had travelled to the popular Asian destination to train in his “new found love” Muay Thai, also known as Thai boxing, and Thailand’s national sport.
But he was riding a scooter in Koh Samui a week ago when his trip took a devastating turn.
“ … he was hit by oncoming traffic, resulting in a compound fracture and clean break of both tibia and fibula in his lower leg, among other injuries,” his friend Nathan Jones said.
Mr Jones has set up a fundraiser for his mate, as each day Mr Kirk is in hospital it is “costing upwards of hundreds to thousands of dollars”.
Mr Jones, who is a professional Muay Thai fighter, told Daily Mail Australia Mr Kirk had just finished dinner after a day’s training and was “crawling along” on his scooter home when another driver hit him at an intersection “and wiped him out”.
Daily Mail Australia reported it was understood Mr Kirk, who is a mine operator from NSW’s Hunter Region, had travel insurance but it did not cover motorcycle injuries of this kind.
Mr Jones told the publication Mr Kirk had not been drinking, which is often a little known clause that can catch out Aussies when they have an accident overseas after consuming alcohol.
More than $220,000 was raised to bring NSW mum Kylee Enwright home from Thailand last June after she fell at her hotel. She was not covered by travel insurance because she had been drinking. She battled for weeks but died in August.
On the fundraising page, Mr Jones explained Mr Kirk had been raced to hospital for emergency surgery to save his leg, but will need to be flown home in business class and accompanied after further surgery to insert a rod.
He said it was classified as elective surgery despite Mr Kirk requiring it to fly home, meaning his family had to fork out the funds upfront.
“Muay Thai has changed Tommy’s life and given him a purpose to be healthy, for this to happen to someone on a holiday is nothing short of a tragedy and we hope we can assist his family to bringing him home safely to make a full recovery,” Mr Jones said.
news.com.au has contacted Mr Jones for further comment.
Mr Kirk’s mother Kellee Kirk told Newcastle Herald she felt “overwhelmed, helpless [and] scared”.
“Because you’re wanting to ensure your son is okay but not being able to be by his side is torture,” she said.
She told the newspaper she was going through the process with her son’s insurance company, but was unsure if they would cover the bills.