Daughter’s desperate plea after dad is seriously injured in Thailand crash

Derek Polak
Derek Polak

A Halifax woman has issued a desperate fundraising plea after her dad was involved in a serious crash in Thailand.

Ex-pat Derek Polak, 63, suffered a catalogue of injuries when the car he was travelling in flipped into a ditch.

Derek Polak in hospital

Derek Polak in hospital

He now needs to find thousands of pounds to pay for surgery and his daughter Victoria is pleading for people to donate whatever they can to help.

Miss Polak, 26, of Pye Nest, said: “My dad, his partner and her sister were in the car and some roadworks were being carried out, so the road was half dug up, with no street lights or warnings.

“They hit a bump in the road and the car flipped into a ditch - that’s all they can remember and that is from what the police have told them.

“What we know so far is that he needs some extensive surgery on his hand because his fingers are that badly broken he needs plates putting in, he’s got a broken neck and he’s got injuries to his chest, but we’re not sure of what is going on internally.

Derek Polak with daughter Victoria

Derek Polak with daughter Victoria

“He was pressed against the steering wheel and his seatbelt, so he is struggling to talk.

“Yesterday, he was in the hospital, then they transferred him to one three hours away. They did some x-rays, wanted a neurosurgeon to come and see him and planned to operate.

“But when they knew the insurance company was closed, they demanded £500 and said there would be no treatment until the insurance company opens tomorrow.

“My dad has had to leave the hospital with the injuries he has got and then they need a police report before the insurance will pay out.

“They wouldn’t touch him, they said he could stay there until Thursday when they have spoken to the insurance company, but he would have had to pay just to stay there.

“The police report is going to be about £80 and the insurance company will only cover a certain cost for his care.

“The surgery on his hand is going to be at least £1,000 and then once the neurosurgeons have seen him, we’re not sure if he will need surgery on his neck.

“We were thinking of trying to get him home, but at the minute he is not well enough to fly as he can barely breathe.

“It’s a desperate situation. I just got told he was in and out of consciousness and it wasn’t good so I felt panicked.

“There’s nothing I can do because I’m half way across the world.”

Mr Polak, originally from Bradshaw, Halifax, has lived in Aranyaprathet, Thailand, since March 2013 with his partner Ubonwan, who was uninjured in the crash.

He currently works as an English teacher in a school and is now back at his home awaiting treatment after a gruelling three-hour journey on a bus from the hospital.

“The police have taken the car, told my dad that there has been a lot of accidents on that road due to what is going on, but have then said if they had been driving a bit slower then it probably wouldn’t have happened so they have given him a fine,” mum-of-two Miss Polak added.

“They paid £500 yesterday for the X-rays and the ambulance transfer and they have given him a neck brace.

“They have the money to pay the police, but for my dad to go back to the hospital now, they won’t treat him until he has got that money to pay.

“It’s not a case where he can sit and wait for two weeks to get the treatment he needs and we’re not sure of the amount they will pay.

“We’ve set the fundraising at the amount we think we will need to get his hand sorted out.

“I’ve spoken to him briefly and he just says he feels like he is in a nightmare. He can’t speak for long because he is struggling with his breathing.

“I just wish I could be there, it’s a hard time of year and with it being Christmas, a lot of people don’t have much money.

“It’s really hard, but anything would help.

“He loves life over there, he said he has been really lucky so far, he’s not been ill as such or needed any medical care.

“He is in a financial nightmare already. He needs to be seen as soon as possible, it’s not a nice situation to be in.

“It’s urgent, I’m not asking for charity or begging, but I just want to get him better - that’s all I want.”

To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/kpdmb838