Tragic grandfather dies in Thai hospital

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A ST Helens grandfather who was stranded for several weeks fighting for his life in a Thai hospital has died.

The family of former St Helens Reporter worker Phillip Blakemore, 76, confirmed that, sadly, he passed away in Thailand in the early hours of yesterday morning (Tuesday, February 15).

Mr Blakemore, who grew up in Rainhill and worked for the Reporter as a compositor back in the 1970s, was on holiday in Chon Buri with his wife Vera, 75, when he suffered a massive double stroke.

After suffering substantial brain damage, he was kept on a life support machine, in a coma, in Pattaya Hospital for several weeks.

Mr Blakemore’s son-in-law, Phil Greene, told last month how doctors in Thailand were obliged to keep him alive despite his condition because, in their culture, all life is regarded as holy.

But a mistake on an insurance form made the Saints fan’s policy void and left his family scratching their heads as to how to meet the spiralling costs of his care in Thailand.

In the form, Mr Blakemore failed to mention that he suffered from angina.

Phil Greene also told how his family were praying for a “knight in shining armour” to help bring him back home.

A London-based doctor even offered to fly out to Thailand and accompany Mr Blakemore home.

The patient’s family subsequently forked out £30,000 - after being helped out by a large loan - in a bid to bring him home.

His family had hoped to get Mr Blakemore on a Thai Airways flight back to Heathrow on Sunday night, but were forced to shelve the plans last week when his condition deteriorated further.