FAMILY and friends of a young man fighting for his life in an Indian hospital are trying to raise more than £30,000 to bring him home.
Sean Connolly, 26, has spent the past seven days critically ill in a coma with brain damage, a fever of the brain and respiratory problems.
How the former Dorcan Technology College student sustained his injuries is a mystery as he cannot speak, and his family have been struggling to overcome the language barrier.
Sean, who grew up in Liden before moving to London, set off for a two-week holiday last week and was found collapsed in the street the next day.
He had no 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.
Almost £5,000 has been raised online in the space of 24 hours to move the keen traveller to a private hospital where he is receiving round-the-clock treatment.
He has shown small signs of progress but scans revealed he has brain damage. His father, Martin, has flown to Mumbai to be by his side.
A doctor at the private unit has told Sean’s family that he contracted a fever on the brain at the public hospital, which refused to treat him unless a payment was made.
Sean’s best friend Luke Potter, 26, from Hackney, East London, said: “The doctors have found signs of brain damage and for that reason Sean needs to be flown home urgently. It is a matter of life and death.
“Due to the level of severity we need a minimum of £30,000 to being him home. It is also costing a fortune to keep him in the private hospital.
“He has shown signs of progress by moving his hands and his feet briefly. But unfortunately that is it at the moment.”
Hundreds of Sean’s friends have show their support via a Facebook page and a website set up for donations, and a pub quiz is planned to raise funds.
Luke said: “Sean is the life and soul of the party. He’s bubbly, outgoing and can make friends with anyone. The amount of support he has been getting is unbelievable.”
Sean, a retail manager, backpacked around the world last year but missed India. He took the holiday to visit the country on his own.
The Foreign Office recommends taking out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before going to India. It also advises against travel to some parts of the country, although not Mumbai.
A spokeswoman said: “We are in contact with his next of kin and the hospital authorities, and are providing consular assistance. “We recommend that anyone thinking of travelling to India reads through the comprehensive advice on our website.”
To donate to Sean’s fund visit www.pledgie.com/campaigns/18410 or search for Help Sean Connolly on Facebook.