Injured Backpacker Flown Home To UK After Strangers Donate More Than £67,000

Sophie Wilson, 24, broke her neck while travelling in Thailand.

A 24-year-old who broke her neck while travelling in Thailand is finally home with her family in the UK thanks to kind donations from strangers.

Sophie Wilson, 24, from Leicestershire, broke her neck after diving into a swimming pool in Thailand and required a specialist medical flight in order to arrive home safely.

Her family set up an online donation page to get her home after her insurer refused to stump up the cash. They said the flight, plus her medical bills, were likely to cost around £60,000.

Thankfully, almost 2,000 people donated, raising funds of more than £67,000, meaning Wilson was able to arrive home on Boxing Day.

It is unclear whether Wilson will be able to walk again and medics said she was lucky to be alive after the accident, which happened on 1 December.

She was initially treated at a hospital in Chiang Mai, Thailand, with a 10-hour operation. She’s currently receiving treatment at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham.

Her sister Georgina Wilson told the BBC: “She’s feeling so much more positive and happy about being back in the UK and there are no issues with the language barrier.

“She’s still making good progress every day, so she’s getting more and more strength in her arms and hands but there’s still no movement from the chest down at the moment.”

The money donated paid for Wilson’s specialist flight home and has enabled her family to cover her medical fees.

On the donation page she wrote: “If it wasn’t for all of you who liked, shared and donated this wouldn’t be happening, so thank you from the bottom of my heart. I really am truly amazed by everything that everyone has done for me.”

Wilson had purchased travel insurance through the company Insure and Go, but the company said it does not cover injuries where a person has “put themselves at risk”.

A spokesperson said in a statement: “We do understand that people go on holiday to have fun and enjoy themselves, but we are not able to cover circumstances where the customer has acted in a way that puts themselves at risk. This is clearly stated in the policy terms and conditions.”