More than £35,000 has been raised in an effort to fly home a Swindon Irishman in a coma at an Indian hospital. TV presenter Jonathan Ross has been among those to offer their support. Sean Connolly, whose grandfather was Irish, has been in a critical condition and on life support since he was found unconscious in Mumbai on October 13.
The 26-year-old did not have travel insurance and ongoing medical care is costing £1,000 a day. To help with the bills, friend and housemate Dean Jarvis set up a fundraising website on which over £35,000 has been raised. “It became clear that we needed to raise some money very, very quickly after I spoke to Sean’s dad a week ago,” he said. “That was when I found out Sean was in a coma and that the hospital was demanding money.”
Sean travelled alone to India on October 12 for a twoweek backpacking holiday but was left fighting for his life after collapsing for unknown reasons. His condition became critical as doctors could not administer the adrenaline that he needed. Instead, they had to wait for consent from Sean’s parents, who were going through a 48-hour visa acquisition process.
“Sean is now managing to breathe on his own and his life support machine has been changed to semi-automatic,” Dean said. “Also, for the first time since he collapsed Sean is responding to light, sound and pain stimulation. But he is still in a coma and doctors suspect that he has suffered brain damage.”
Last week, Sean had a tracheostomy to make his breathing more manageable on a long-term basis. Sean’s friends and family are now hoping to raise a further £30,000 to fly the retail manager, who works for Urban Outfitters on Oxford Street, back to Britain where he can be treated in an NHS hospital.
“This whole situation has been very hard to take,” Dean said. “It began when I found out that my friend is knocking on death’s door alone in Mumbai. But since then, the response has been overwhelming. People who have never even met Sean, like Jonathan Ross, are donating huge sums of money.We just need a little more.”
To support the Help Sean Connolly campaign, visit http://pledgie.com/campaigns/18410