CHIANG MAI – Family and friends of an Irishman left with life-changing injuries after crashing his bicycle in Chiang Mai need have praised his courage and thanked supporters after £36,000 was raised in just two days to bring him home safely.
On Wednesday last week the 26-year-old Sait Can Ozdemir went cycling in Chiang Mai, in the north of the country, with two friends when he lost control of his bicycle on a hill.
He fell into a two foot ditch, with his bicycle thrown meters away.
Within seconds, two friends accompanying Mr. Ozdemir found him lying unconscious in a ditch with his bicycle thrown meters away.
Bystanders, including an ex-paramedic, came to his aid followed quickly by emergency services who rushed him to Chiang Mai Ram hospital.
He suffered a broken wrist, a punctured lung, fluid in his lungs and three broken vertebrae, the fragments of which nearly severed his spinal cord.
He has now had the fluid drained from his lungs and had surgery on his spine on Saturday but he will not be able to travel home until both his lungs and his spine are stable.
Doctors Chiang Mai Ram hospital have advised him there is only a small chance he will ever walk again.
On Friday his parents Sedat and Christine, along with siblings Vicki (32) and Kemal (23), set up a go fund me page and remarkably, £27,000 has already been donated.
“It’s given us a lot of hope,” his sister Vicki
On Saturday morning Mr Ozdemir had an operation to put screws in place to realign his spine.
“His spinal cord’s not been completely severed so there’s a very small chance of him being able to walk again and that is a ray of hope,” said Vicki.
The Get Saitcan Home fund has now raised more than £35,000 and can be accessed here.