A Lancashire dad is seriously ill in hospital after being bitten by a mosquito in Sri Lanka.
Father-of-two Colin Whiteside, 52, from Bamber Bridge, was taken to hospital in Colombo around two weeks ago with a fever.
He is believed to have contracted dengue fever as a result of a mosquito bite. The scaffolding manager, who was in Sri Lanka for work, contracted pneumonia and sepsis - then he suffered a catastrophic stroke, leaving him with locked-in syndrome, meaning he is unable to move.
Colin’s wife Caroline flew out to be by his side at the private hospital where he is being treated.
His family and friends have launched an urgent fundraising appeal to get Colin home to Lancashire.
They need to raise £30,000 to bring him back, with the total on their Just Giving webpage currently standing at around £17,000.
Colin’s son-in-law Stephen Green said Colin had worked abroad for many years and had been in Sri Lanka for the last two or three years. Prior to that, he had worked in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Stephen said Colin, who has two daughters, Michelle and Shannon, had been hoping to come back to England soon and start “winding down” towards retirement, before he became ill.
He said: “He is very poorly. We are taking everything as it comes at the moment.
“All the bills are being paid for by the family - so all that money he has saved up over the years is going.
“I can’t believe how good the response has been to our appeal so far. People’s generosity has been amaazing. It goes to show what kind of guy he is.”
A statement on the JustGiving page for Colin says: “At first he was fine and being treated in a private hospital, that did everything they could.
“He contracted pneumonia and sepsis but we had faith in the hospital and medical professionals treating him. Out if the blue he suffered a catastrophic stroke which they have been told is the worst possible outcome you could have.
“His medical insurance will not cover treatment. Every penny he earned in the last 15 years to secure a future has been spent on his care.
“The family know there is not a good prognosis It is extremely rare for any significant motor function to return.
“The majority of locked-in syndrome patients do not regain motor control.
“However, some people with the condition continue to live much longer,so any time Colin has left we need to do everything we can to help with medical costs and possibly get him home.”
It added: “Anyone who knows Colin will know he was a proud hard-working man who did everything he could for his family and friends but they are desperate. They need him home and any help they can get would meant the world to them and Colin.”
To donate to Colin’s appeal, visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/paul-murray-267?utm_term=WvPMg5Qkk