We need your help for our social enterprise CEO Ian Jones who is fighting for his life in India in hospital with a second bout of COVID-19 and a potentially deadly Cobra bite.
He has been in intensive care since he suffered the poisonous bite from an Indian Black King Cobra in the village where he is based in India.
Ian was, at the time, already battling a second bout of COVID-19, having survived an earlier attack in March, when the snake bite took matters to a whole new level of severity.
He suffered the potentially fatal bite whilst at his Jodphur base, where many of the local craftsmen and women that we as a charity-based not for profit business support live and work. He had moved out of the city so that he could continue to provide support during the pandemic and, because of travel restrictions, has been unable to travel home to his family on the Isle of Wight.
Now facing mounting medical bills and being unable to leave the country, we are setting up this Go Fund Me page in the hope of urgently raising some money to help meet the tens of thousands of pounds needed for his care, before he can return home.
Seb Jones, Ian’s son said: “Dad is a fighter, during his time out in India he had already suffered from Malaria and Dengue Fever even before COVID-19 and yet he had remained resolute in his determination to stay in the country and continue his work help the people that needed his support.
“He had not been able to travel home due to the pandemic and as a family we understood his desire to continue to support the many people who relied on him. We were naturally concerned about him though and then when we heard he had also suffered what is usually a fatal snake bite on top of all that he had been through, we honestly could not believe it.
“It really has been touch and go, he is stable at the moment although he has paralysis in his legs and blindness, both of which we hope is temporary, but it is clear he is going to need to remain in hospital out there for some time to come. We are extremely grateful to his colleagues there who have been brilliant and rallied around him in his time of need, as indeed he did for them.”
Mike Bulpitt, CEO of Community Action Isle of Wight said: “Ian has put so much on the line to continue to support the people out in India that he works with, living in difficult conditions and being away from his own family and friends on the Island for most of the year. He is now facing a long road to recovery and we are appealing for any fundraising support people can give to help us meet his medical costs, until he can eventually be brought home. We hope that he will soon be able to get back to the work he loves and to support those that need him, but right now he needs all our help to get through this battle to survive."
Update from the family:
“We want to express our deep gratitude for the overwhelming interest and generosity that we have received on Ian’s behalf. We never expected anything like this level of support and concern and we are truly grateful to everyone involved, including all the nursing staff and his friends and colleagues out in India who have been so amazing. Ian has a long road to recovery ahead of him and we don’t yet know what the future holds but we remain positive and hopeful that we will be able to bring him home soon.”
Update from the family 2:
Ian is thankfully no longer being incubated in hospital although he is currently completely blind and suffering from paralysis in his legs. The doctors hope this may be temporary but we have no guarantees that this might be the case and he is obviously very frightened by his condition.
He left intensive care and was due to be transferred to a general Covid ward within the hospital, however these wards are extremely busy, given the number of Covid cases in India, and having no sight, Ian has decided that this is not the place for him to continue to recuperate and that he needs to be in more familiar surroundings. He did not also want to take up valuable bed space. He has therefore been helped to return back to his base in Jodhpur and his nursing care, treatment and medications are being supported by a small group of colleagues while we explore other options for medical care and a medical repatriation. His condition is still very serious and we are naturally very concerned about him.
We want to reiterate our thanks to everyone for their generosity and support. This will help Ian enormously as we continue to pay the medical bills that have already accumulated and as we investigate the cost of any further treatment and transport home.
Update from the family 3:
We are delighted to report that after a long and stressful journey home, Ian is finally back in the UK with his family. He is quarantining for the next 14 days and will then hopefully be able to undergo some further treatment. Ian still has paralysis in his legs and is completely blind and he is having to adjust to these new found circumstances which is proving both emotional and challenging.
The charity, Ian and his family have been completely overwhelmed by the support and generosity that people have shown towards his situation and would like to reiterate their upmost thanks to everyone concerned. The donations will help to pay for the medical bills already accumulated and the costs of getting Ian back to the UK.
The family are very keen to provide an update and to express their personal thanks as soon as Ian feels able to do so. In the meantime, they have asked if people can bear with them for a little bit longer while he rests and recuperates
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