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Ex-Marine Won’t ‘Die Alone in Thailand’; Headed Back to UK

Colin Coppard, now 50, as a British Royal Marine in his earlier days. (Photo: GoFundMe)
Colin Coppard, now 50, as a British Royal Marine in his earlier days. (Photo: GoFundMe)

A former British Royal Marine who suffered a stroke in Chaing Mai will not “die alone in Thailand”, with the man is set to fly back to the U.K. as soon as he gets a Thai medical escort.

The British consulate in Chiang Mai put out a request Tuesday morning for a Thai national with some medical experience and basic English proficiency to escort Colin Coppard, 50, back to England for continued treatment after he suffered a debilitating stroke several months ago.

At one point so near death that his story was splashed across British tabloids, Coppard‘s condition has improved and he is now healthy enough to travel, the consulate said.

A British evacuation company will pay the costs and a fee for the Thai medical escort.

Coppard was found holding a bottle of medication in his Chiang Mai hotel room in June after suffering a massive stroke.

A serviceman who served eight years in the marines, including tours in Iraq and Northern Ireland, Clppard was caught in the North when Thailand locked down while taking a break from his current career as an anti-poaching ranger in South Africa.

The Battersea, London native had a bleed on the brain and increasing pressure required a cranioscopy.

Family members were desperate to come to Thailand and bring him home, but were barred by the country’s closed borders.

The family started a GoFundMe page to raise £50,000 to evacuate him, but in three months managed to raised only £32,058 as of Tuesday.

Speaking to British tabloid The Mirror last week, Copaprd’s sister Maxine said they had been able to see him via video chat and her brother had very minimal speaking ability.

In an Aug. 21 update on the GoFundMe page, Miaxine Coppard wrote that initial estimates for her brother’s repatriation via a private jet would cost £120,000.

She also complained bitterly about a lack of assistance from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, which she claimed had gone “absent without leave”.

“There’s no reply to emails, phone calls (or) visits,” she wrote. “The UK FCO are unable to do anything, A man who fought for his country, know one of power is fighting for him as it’s in the hands of the Thai government.”