Plea for help to bring James Cannon home to London after road crash in Thailand
- Credit: Cannon family
Two brothers have flown out to Thailand where 20-year-old James Cannon their younger sibling lies badly injured in hospital after a horrifying road crash as their family launch a desperate campaign to pay medical bills and bring him home.
James, who graduated last year from east London’s Tower Hamlets College, was riding a motorbike after his work shift at a tourist bar on the holiday island of Ko Pha Ngan when he was badly injured in a crash on Friday.
He lies in intensive care, in and out of coma, with severe head injuries and a fractured right eye.
Now his family in Stepney Green and Poplar have begun a Facebook campaign to raise funds to bring him home after his travel and medical insurance, ironically, had just run out before his employer was able to renew it.
His older brothers Ben and Nathan Chandler have been given a month’s compassionate leave by their employers to be with James.
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“He can’t see with his head bandaged, but feels safe with his brothers there,” his sister-in-law Kelly Webb told the East London Advertiser.
“James was getting his medical insurance renewed by his employers when the crash happened.
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“But it hadn’t gone through yet. They just put him on the books fulltime and started doing his insurance.”
James was taken off the holiday island by speedboat to a private hospital for a blood transfusion and emergency surgery after Friday’s crash.
The family have had to pay out £4,500 so far. Friends and relatives have put in £2,000 and they’ve raised £7,000 to date on the Just Giving website page which his brother Ben has opened—while the medical bills are mounting.
James has bleeding on the brain and is still unable to speak. His jaw is broken and nose, chin and cheekbones are all fractured.
Kelly’s mother Barbara Millins, from Stepney Green, said: “James may loose the sight in his right eye if they can’t repair the rupture and his brain was also bleeding from the impact of the crash. We don’t know the worst yet.”
She added: “His brothers needed to be there to make James feel safe because his head is bandaged and couldn’t understand what was happening because of the language barrier.
“James has responded to their presence, which is a good sign—but we need to bring him home.”
His mother Ann Cannon waits at her home in Poplar for news of her son, not well enough to make the trip to Thailand herself to be with him.
James was popular at school, Langdon Park Secondary in Poplar, where he passed nine GCSEs, and at Tower Hamlets College on his course to be a gym instructor.
He is well liked by regulars who remember him in his first job at Lloyd’s Bar in Canary Wharf last summer and at his next job with the same company at Stratford’s Golden Grove pub, where regulars have so far raised £350 towards the fund.
But Friday’s crash wasn’t the first time fate had caught up with James.
He was stabbed in the face in an incident while travelling on a bus to Forest Gate last year and later decided to work abroad in Thailand for a break after recovering—only to be injured in the motorbike crash.
The family’s appeal to bring James Cannon home is on the Just Giving website