A FUND set up to help a young man fighting for his life in an Indian hospital has reached £45,000.
Sean Connolly, 26, who grew up in Liden before moving to London, set off for a two-week holiday earlier this month but was found collapsed in the street the next day.
He has spent more than a week critically ill in a coma with brain damage, a fever of the brain and respiratory problems, although he was yesterday showing signs of improvement and was off the ventilator.
How the former Dorcan Technology College student sustained his injuries is a mystery as he cannot speak, although it is not thought he was attacked as he has no marks on his body.
He had no travel insurance and it is costing up to £1,000 a day to keep him in intensive care in a country where high-quality treatment has to be paid for.
His family and friends started an appeal to bring him home.
They generated £45,000 in just a few days through a fundraising website and Facebook page. They believe they need at least £55,000, The amount raised so far is thought to be just enough to pay to take him back to the UK but his father Martin, who has flown to Mumbai to be by his side, does not want to risk moving him just yet.
His friend Stewart King, 27, said: “It’s not that simple because there are complications.
“Basically his condition is slowly getting better day-by-day so at the moment the doctors are keeping him in hospital in Mumbai.
“There’s no point taking the risk and taking him back to the UK.
“At the moment, the doctors in Mumbai are saying keep him there for the time being to allow him to continue with his progress.
“The problem is his condition is changing on a daily basis. So as much as his dad would like to have him back in the UK, he has got to do what’s best for Sean at the moment.
“He has started breathing for himself which is massive progress and had come off the ventilator.
“Four or five days ago it was really looking bad, but he has come on so much in four days.”
Stewart said he was taken aback at how much had been raised in such a short space of time, with 23,000 members on the Facebook group, £7,500 raised at a pub quiz night in London on Monday, and even an “A-list celebrity”, who he would not identify, making a donation.
“Social media has taken it to the next level,” Steward said. “Through Facebook it’s been in the national press. We’ve been overwhelmed by the amount people have raised.
“A lot of people have been touched by the situation.
“A lot of parents have contacted us to say what a horrible situation where a son or daughter is in hospital in India and the mum and family are still in Swindon.”
To donate to Sean’s fund visit www.pledgie.com/campaigns/18410 or search for Help Sean Connolly on Facebook.