Family needs £30,000 to bring former Frampton Cotterell landlord home
THE family of a former Frampton Cotterell landlord injured in Crete are trying to raise more than £30,000 to bring him home.
John Buckle, who was the landlord of the Star before emigrating 20 years ago, is in intensive care on the Mediterranean island following a car accident in December. Crete’s hospitals have limited medical facilities, so he isn’t able to have specialist treatment there.
His brother Robert said: “If you know Crete, on the southern side there’s a descent down to the seaside towns. A lot of them are unmade roads.
“He must have got too close to the edge and the car rolled over down the embankment and landed on its roof. The roof collapsed and caused compression of the spine. He’s lost the use of his arms and legs and can’t breathe without a ventilator.”
John, above, is now in a stable condition, although he is unable to speak because of a tracheotomy. If he’s moved to a hospital on the mainland, specialist treatment could cost €2000 a week.
Robert said: “In Greece there’s no national health service. It makes you realise how lucky we are.”
John has lived in Crete for 20 years and is supposed to have an S1 form which would enable him to have an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card). But his S1 and his EHIC have expired. Robert has now reapplied for the S1 and is waiting for it to arrive at John’s home. It will then have to be collected by a friend and taken to the authorities on Crete to be stamped.
In the meantime he is phoning around UK hospitals to see if any can take John.
Robert said: “I just thought of the first hospital that comes to mind, as it’s for spinal injuries, and that’s Stoke Mandeville. The first thing they asked is has he got an S1 form. And I couldn’t have him transferred directly, there he’d have to go to another hospital first and then get him referred.”
John Buckle before the accident which left him in hospital
The family have started a fundraising campaign on website GoFundMe to pay for an air ambulance to bring John home, which is expected to cost £32,500.
The appeal has currently raised just over £5,300 and they are calling on more people who knew John to spread the word and donate.
Robert said: “The only way I can say that I’m going to make an effort to help him is to get him back to a UK hospital, where I know even if they can’t change things it will be the best he is going to get.”
The fundraising page can be found here.