A community is rallying around a loving couple from County Durham who became engaged after waking up in a Thai hospital following a near fatal motorbike crash.
Dale Goundry, 31, an electrical engineer, and Sophie Redpath, 27, a production operator, were a week into their 28-day luxury holiday this month when they were involved in the smash in Chiang Mai.
The pair, from Newton Aycliffe, were thrown into the air after hitting the central reservation of a motorway and are being treated in Nakornping Hospital for serious injuries.
Dale, who suffered a collapsed lung requiring surgery at the roadside and broke ten ribs, was so worried he called his mum, to say ‘goodbye’ because he did not think he would survive.
The couple had been looking forward to their holiday for months and Dale was planning on asking Sophie to marry him during the trip.
His condition improved and he was able to see Sophie, who was being treated in a separate room, for the first time on January 25, at which point, he popped the question.
The couple had travel insurance for up to £13,200 but it is not enough to cover their medical bills, which are rapidly rising, so Dale’s cousin, Michelle, has launched a fundraiser on GoFundMe.
Writing on Facebook Sophie said: “I don’t even know how to start writing this.
“Thank you so so so much to everyone who has shared and donated.
“It’s times like this you get to see how beautiful and generous people truly are.
“Thank you to our family and friends that have been messaging and checking up on us, you might say you feel helpless but these messages are what’s keeping us smiling and keeping us going.
“Thank you to every single person who’s messaged and donated it means more to us than you’ll ever know.”
Dale and Sophie, who flew to Bangkok on January 14, had visited the south-east Asian country before, in 2021, but the holiday was overshadowed by Covid travel restrictions.
The pair were planning on spending a couple of days in Bangkok before heading south to explore Thailand’s popular island destinations.
A week into the holiday, on January 22, the couple were involved in a serious motorbike crash on the motorway.
Dale and Sophie were left with severe injuries and are expected to spend several months in hospital.
Dale suffered a collapsed lung and his arm became detached from his body after he broke his clavicle and shoulder blade, as well as ten ribs.
Sophie shattered her arm and broke her nose, knee and shin.
While Dale and Sophie had taken out travel insurance, it only covers medical bills up to £13,200.
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Dale’s cousin Michelle has set up a fundraiser on GoFundMe for £10,000 to help them cover the costs.
In an update on the site she said: “Sophie and Dale have had multiple operations and need more before they can safely travel home.
“They are likely to need hospital treatment for the next 3-6 weeks. After this, they may need to stay in Thailand for some rehabilitation before they’re strong enough for the long journey home.
“Lots of further fund raisers will be taking place to support them at this difficult time.”
A pea and pie night is being held at Tudhoe Victory Club on Friday February 9 from 7 pm. There will be games, music, auctions, raffles, and more.
Entry is £5 for adults and £3 for children with tickets available at the Grind café in Spennymoor.
To support the couple click here.