Kiwi in Thai hospital faces $16k bill
Sean Kenzie's dream holiday has become the stuff of nightmares.
The 27-year-old is stranded in a Thai hospital with injuries including broken ribs, punctured lungs and a split liver.
“I've got a broken jaw, snapped my jaw in half – apart from that I got a big hole in my neck,” says Mr Kenzie.
Lifesaving treatment has so far cost more than $16,000, but Mr Kenzie can't afford to pay.
Because of this, the hospital is refusing further treatment and has begun harassing his mother in Napier for payment.
“They ring me at least three times a night sometimes more, they want payment, that's all they are really talking about,” says Nadine Mouritsen.
Ms Mouritsen has stage three liver cancer and is having trouble getting a bank loan to help her son.
He had travel insurance, but the Australian company Cover-More is refusing to pay out because Mr Kenzie didn't elect to pay extra to cover the risk of motorcycle riding.
Mr Kenzie, who now lives in Perth, says he asked for 'full cover' when he bought his insurance through his travel agent. He had no idea the policy didn't cover him for riding a scooter.
His girlfriend Amy Myles says things would have been different if they had known.
“If we had known that he wasn't covered for motorbike, we wouldn't have got a motorbike, he wouldn't have been riding on the first day,” she says.
Mr Kenzie was on his way to meet Ms Myles when he was hit from behind by a van.
“I checked in at my hotel, hired a little scooter, had a look around and the next thing I know I was in here,” he says.
Cover-More told 3 News that while it wouldn't pay the medical bills, it had offered non financial assistance, helping arrange air bookings and medical advice.
Sean Kenzie’s mother has set up a bank account for anyone who wants to contribute towards her son’s medical bills:
Read more: Kiwi in Thai hospital faces $16k bill - Story - NZ News - 3 News
Phuket Police 'Holding Passport of Cash-Strapped Tattoo Tourist'
By Chutima Sidasathian
Thursday, July 12, 2012
PHUKET: The reputation of Phuket protecting tourists is being damaged in a dispute that has pitted a motorcycle crash victim from New Zealand against the Bangkok Hospital Phuket.
The media in New Zealand say that Sean Kenzie is stuck in the hospital on Phuket and so strapped for cash to pay his b
ills that his brother is now selling tattoo space on his body.
According to older brother Kane Kenzie: ''We are trying everything we can, but we are running out of time. They [the Phuket hospital] won't release him until we have paid the bill. There's a guard on his door.''
The marketing people at Bangkok Hospital Phuket hadn't realised their popular Thai hospital brand was being tarnished online until Phuketwan pointed out the problem today.
Head of the hospital's Marketing Communications Department, Niyompong Torwong, said there was no guard on Mr Kenzies' Phuket ward door - that would only happen if the patient was in danger or the patient could cause harm to others.
But Khun Niyompong did reveal that police were holding Mr Kenzie's passport.
Officers on Phuket are only supposed to hold passports if the people involved have been accused of a serious crime involving drugs or violence. If that is the situation in Mr Kenzie's case, perhaps we need to know more.
As Khun Niyompong could not recall which police station was holding the passport, we were unable to check to find out why it was being held.
The Kenzie family is quoted today as saying that the outstanding hospital bill is $25,000 and he would need $43,000 for a medical evacuation back to New Zealand.
He suffered collapsed lungs, a split liver, neck injuries, and a broken jaw, which still required surgery.
Efforts appear to be made to raise sympathy in the New Zealand media by a process of suggesting extreme solutions and exaggerations about the Phuket hospital and its fees.
The 27-year-old, who had been working as a roofer in Perth, did not realise that his travel insurance did not cover motorcycles and was seriously injured when he crashed with a van soon after his Phuket holiday began last week.
A spokeswoman for the insurance company, Cover-More Travel Insurance Australia, told the hawkesbaytoday site that he did not pay an extra premium for the scooter/moped policy, which cost $20-$30.
That lets the insurance company off the hook, but not the Phuket hospital.
Khun Niyompong rejected claims that the hospital's fees were too expensive, arguing that they were similar to scheduled fees for operations at other Phuket hospitals.
With or without a guard on the door, Mr Kenzie remains inside Bangkok Hospital Phuket and his family is probably planning the next move in their campaign to get him home.
''I know it's crazy,'' brother Kane said of the latest tattoo idea, ''but desperate times call for desperate measures.
''If I'm able to get my brother home then it's worth it.''
Last edited by cluezo; 13th July 2012 at 11:59.
lesson: dont ride a friggin' scooter in thailand if u cant ride a friggin' scooter
i didnt exactly follow this advice, however, since i learned to ride bikes here in thailand (my first trip being a 300 km journey to cambodia to do a visa run ).
countless times ive seen farangs rent a bike (especially women) who obviously have no idea what theyre doing. cant even turn the thing around, start it, etc. and yet off they go on the busy roads with the songtaews and minivans.
There are few problems in life that cannot be solved with toast.
One of them, however, is opening a can of corned beef with that stupid key. This cannot easily be done at the best of times, and toast is of surprisingly little use in resolving the issue.
strangely enough, i find driving a car in thailand far more difficult than riding a bike. not in terms of dangers, but with respect to not having an accident. there are far too many obstacles when driving a car.
Friends, family and strangers offer help to injured Kiwi
Every day Sean Kenzie spends in a Phuket hospital adds to rising hospital costs following a scooter crash.
“He's a bit frustrated and depressed – because of the language barrier he's not able to communicate,” says his mother Nadine Mouritsen.
Mr Kenzie thought he'd be covered by the travel insurance he bought, but it excluded motorcycles.
His medical bill could now top $30,000 – money his family doesn't have – but donations have been mounting.
The latest contribution has been from a Hastings firm offering to sell a new kitchen.
Ms Mouritsen says the response has been amazing.
“Couldn't have dreamed we would have something like that offered,” she says.
Mercy Renovators owner Steve Petrowski says his only link with Mr Kenzie was a shared love of motorbikes.
“No connection at all - I just felt my heart, felt sorry for the guy,” he says.
Mr Petrowski will sell a $20,000 kitchen through his company website - with appliances, plumbing and electrical work.
“At least $16,000 – more if we can – because we want to get him back here.”
Others are just as determined to help.
Mr Kenzie’s brother Kane Kenzie is offering to tattoo his face for the highest bidder.
A friend is auctioning the chance to paint her body.
“Just so chuffed, so heart-warmed by the response of people,” says Ms Mouritsen.
She says Mr Kenzie’s condition still needs to improve before he can fly back to New Zealand.
Read more: Friends, family and strangers offer help to injured Kiwi - Story - NZ News - 3 News
The Thai authorities should not be holding his passport.....but that's a matter for the New Zealand embassy.....
There would not be a "guard" at the door.
Best of luck to the gentleman.
It seems this kind of incident is becomming more and more of an issue.........
“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
this guy is obviously from a lower middle class background...AND hes australian/kiwi. so theres 2 strikes from the outset. you add in his presumptive ignorance and 3 strikes, youre out!
Last edited by samsara; 14th July 2012 at 12:10.
He's going home ...
Anonymous donor gives stranded Kiwi ticket home
Phuket Gazette – Friday, July 27, 2012 6:33:21 PM
PHUKET: Sean Kenzie, the 27-year-old New Zealander stranded and unable to pay his mounting medical bills after a hit-and run-accident, boarded a plane for home today thanks to an anonymous donor who supplied the funds for his flight.
Sean, 27, shows the tube still connected to his chest
after his lung collapsed for the second time.
Sean looked a little tired when he arrived at Phuket Airport; he walked straight to the Thai Airways check-in counter to catch his flight home.
“My mother was upset about the [private] hospital kicking me out. She had sent NZ$8,000 [more than 200,000 baht, for medical fees], but they told my mum that it wasn’t enough,” he said.
Sean explained that he still owes the hospital about 500,000 baht (more than NZ$19,000) in expenses.
His insurance refused to pay, claiming that motorbike accidents were not covered under his “premium policy”.
Desperate, Sean’s older brother started a fundraiser on Facebook.
“When I get back New Zealand, I’m going to court with my insurance company. I was supposed to be covered for motorbike [accidents]. I was supposed to be covered for everything. And then, when I had the accident, they told me I wasn’t. They pulled out and I’m left with big bills, huge bills.”
Sean told the Phuket Gazette that “thousands and thousands” of people made donations to the Facebook fund his brother Kane started. One anonymous donor put up all the money necessary for Sean’s flight home.
“I’d like to thank the people of New Zealand. They’re awesome; they got behind me and donated money. I probably would have died here if it wasn’t for them,” Sean said.
He explained that he wired more money to the hospital today, as he was finally allowed to leave Phuket after signing an agreement allowing him 365 days to pay off the remainder of his medical expenses.
The hit-and-run accident left him in a coma with the teeth on his right side smashed out, his jaw broken, both lungs collapsed, a split liver and a knee requiring reconstructive surgery.
“The taxi driver must have hit me pretty hard,” he said.
Rescue workers transferred him to the private hospital for care.
Sean has a vague memory of the incidents proceeding the accident. He was driving back to his hotel when he realized he was heading in the wrong direction, so he pulled over to the side of the road, where he was run down.
He could not remember where exactly he was when the accident occurred.
With two collapsed lungs, Sean awoke with two tubes in his chest. He was told they would be removed within two days, but they stayed in place for almost a month.
“I should have been out of the hospital a week ago. This tube was supposed to come out, but… my lung collapsed again,” he explained yesterday.
“They brought me back down to the surgery room and gave me drugs and put the tube back in. I woke up in the afternoon and they kicked me out,” he said.
“I didn’t know what was going on. I had no idea, no clue. All I knew was that they were kicking me out. Then they brought me here [to an open patient ward Vachira Phuket Hospital].”
After one night, the New Zealand consulate stepped in and had Sean transferred to a private room of the hospital.
Once back in New Zealand, Sean will start down the long path of rehabilitation.
Formerly a roofer in Australia, Sean has been told that he will not be able to return to work for a long time.
“There is no police record, no police have come to see me,” Sean explained to the Gazette. “I’ve been her nearly a month and nobody has come to see [about the accident]. The taxi that hit me should have had their insurance paying for all of this.”
Despite the horrors of Sean’s first trip to the Kingdom, he is determined to return.
“I will return to Thailand as the country still owes me my travelling,” he said.