A British woman may never walk again after falling from a two-storey balcony while on her dream holiday in Thailand.
Maddi Neale-Shankster, from Coventry, was celebrating the New Year with her boyfriend on the party island of Ko Pha-Ngan when she took the tragic tumble, which left her with a fractured spine. The 21-year-old beautician was in the room she was sharing with her partner when the accident occurred, UK newspaper Metro reported.
It's not known exactly how the incident took place, and Ms Neale-Shankster reportedly has no recollection of what happened. Her mum Karen Moseley-Neale, who flew to Thailand on Sunday, said the three-week holiday was "supposed to be the trip of a lifetime".
Ms Moseley-Neale said pictures of the balcony are "outrageous" and said, "you would never get away with that in the UK."
Following the accident, the young woman was transferred from a local hospital to Surat Thani International Hospital on the mainland — a torturous three-hour boat ride and an hour-long drive away. She also needs drains to remove blood and fluid from her chest before she can be operated on, her worried mum revealed.
"The prognosis isn’t good as she has fractures to her spine and there’s a chance she may never walk again. It’s devastating," Ms Moseley-Neale told Metro.
"Maddi’s partner hasn’t left her side and has been given two plastic chairs to sleep on. They’ve got no belongings with them, it’s horrific," she added.
Another tragic blow
To make matters worse, the young woman was allegedly pickpocketed earlier that night. She lost all her money and her cards, her mum claimed. She'd reportedly been carrying her belongings with her due to "horrendous" hotel security.
The ambulance reportedly took 30 to 40 minutes to reach the scene. Her friend, who was also travelling with them, woke up when paramedics were putting a neck brace on Ms Neale-Shankster.
Ms Neale-Shankster's mum said her daughter had a "promising year ahead of her" and the accident is "devastating".
"All I know is that she was on the phone to me only an hour before it happened and all seemed well," she said.
A spokesperson for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office told Metro it is providing assistance to the family. The young woman remains in hospital.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.