"Please help me get my brother home": A family's desperate plea after 44-year-old dies suddenly days after arriving in Thailand for winter holiday

A family has launched a desperate bid to bring their brother's body home from Thailand after he died suddenly on holiday aged 44.

By Catherine Musgrove
Saturday, 11th December 2021, 4:55 am

Free-spirited Daniel Skipper, who grew up in Walton-le-Dale and Bamber Bridge, often worked 60 hour weeks as a chef throughout the summer in order to enjoy a winter abroad, but died on Sunday only days after arriving in Thailand with friends.

Now his heartbroken family need to raise £5,000 to pay for his hospital bills, fly his body home, and transport him from the airport to Bamber Bridge.

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Daniel Skipper

His sister Katie Mercer, 31, said: "We're desperate to get him home, so he's not alone.

"At the moment it feels very unreal for us, because we're used to him being away, it's like he's still on holiday. That's why we need to raise the money to get him back as soon as possible - hopefully before Christmas - so that we can come to terms with it."

Katie received a call from Daniel on Sunday to say he'd suffered a heart attack and was in hospital. Hours later, the police arrived to tell her he'd passed away.

His death is a triple tragedy for the family, who lost their brother James aged 35 to a brain haemorrhage in 2014, and their mother Linda died in 2018.

"Life and soul of a get-together", Daniel Skipper

"Them being reunited is the only comfort", said Katie.

She added: "Daniel was never the same after James passed away. They were very, very close."

Fundraiser

In only 12 hours, a Just Giving fundraiser launched by the family has raised £2,600 and messages have poured in from devastated friends.

Daniel and sister Katie

Katie said: "I want to say a massive thanks to everybody who's already donated, it's very comforting.

"We've also had so many people messaging, telling us how much they loved him, that he was the life and soul of any get-together. He literally had friends in all four corners of the world."

Daniel, a former Walton-le-Dale High School pupil, was a keen chef, and football fan, attending Bamber Bridge games whenever he was at home. As a mark of respect, the club will hold a minutes applause for him at today's game, as well as carrying a tibute in the programme.

Katie, and Daniel's older brother Simon, 53, have thanked club staff and players for their support, and also members and staff at Bamber Bridge Conservative Club, which they said was "Daniel's second home" when he was not travelling.

Daniel Skipper, who has died aged 44

Katie added: "He was never in one place, he was always travelling across the world. He'd recently been working as a chef down south, and he'd been to France, he'd been everywhere.

"He was a free spirit and just loved to travel. He'd work long hours throughout the summer, saving all his money, so he could travel in the winter.

"He'd been to Thailand before and loved it, so he was going from December to February.

"He was the life and soul of the party, you'd know Daniel was there before you saw him. He was very much a joker."

L-R: Tony Mercer (Daniel's step father), the late James Skipper, Katie Mercer, Daniel Skipper and mum Linda Mercer.
Daniel in his younger days, with best friend Dave and brother James
L-R: Step dad Tony, mum Linda, brother simon, sister Katie and Daniel