Sunday, February 25, 2024
Home Vacation Dad told he’ll never walk again after holiday to see daughter in Thailand hits disaster

Dad told he’ll never walk again after holiday to see daughter in Thailand hits disaster

by Staff

Lee Francis returned from Thailand on a stretcher after his horrific motorcycle crash and a traumatic 18-hour flight and is now being treated in hospital in Wales

Lee Francis, 54, was paralysed from the waist down after a motorcycle accident while on holiday (Lee Francis)

A dad has been left paralysed after a horrific motorbike accident during a dream holiday to visit his daughter in Thailand.

Lee Francis returned home on a stretcher after an agonising 18-hour flight and is now hospitalised in Wales. The 54-year-old dad of two is now warning other travellers about two precautions that he believes saved his life. Lee, from Church Village, thought his trip to visit his daughter Katie in Thailand would be a joyous reunion, but it turned into a nightmare when he and his wife Clare Francis crashed their motorcycle into a metal barrier on the last day of their trip.




In the aftermath, Lee found himself in intensive care with severe body trauma and was told he was paralysed from the waist down. His family says his life has been “forever changed” by his injuries.

“I still can’t get my head around it,” Lee shared with WalesOnline. “It has hit me for six. Our life is going to totally change and I’m just a bit worried about the future. I had a wonderful holiday with my daughter. This happened on our last day… the outcome is not great for me, to be honest.”

Lee, who was a respected community occupational therapist in the Rhondda Cynon Taf area, has severe injuries including broken ribs, a fractured spine in three places and serious lung damage. His condition worsened in hospital, developing complications that severely impacted his treatment. As he became more stable, he underwent surgery which he hoped would help him keep the use of his legs. The surgery was successful but Lee was told he would never walk again.

Lee Francis in hospital(Katie Francis)

For Lee, a man whose life revolved around sport and activity, this news was devastating. He enjoyed walking up Pen y Fan – something he said was his “bit of therapy.” Back in the UK, Lee’s other daughter Abigail and her step-siblings Dylan and Menna were busy ensuring his insurance covered the many surgeries and complications he was facing.

When Lee was ready, he endured a “traumatic” 18-hour stretcher flight home to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. Sadly, it was confirmed that he was paralysed from the waist down.

Speaking to Wales Online just five days after returning home, he shared: “It’s lovely to get back to Wales. It was quite traumatising being in hospital in Thailand. I was in a lot of excruciating pain, especially the first hospital I was in, and I had a bit of trauma coming home on the plane. Back in Wales, especially on this ward, they’re phenomenal and have been really good to me. I’ve had a lot of tests and they have continued to unfortunately give me the diagnosis that I couldn’t walk again. It’s going to be a bit of a long process and it’s devastating news as you can imagine.”

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