Man wakes from coma weeks after buck's party tragedy

Tom Flanagan
News Reporter

A Queensland man who missed his wedding when he was left in a coma following a life-threatening Bali scooter crash has woken five weeks later.

Ashley Hickman, 32, was enjoying his buck’s trip on the Indonesian holiday island when he crashed one of the scooters he and friends had rented to get around.

After sustaining critical head injuries just a week before his wedding, his fiancée Tam Matthews rushed to be with him in a Bali hospital before he was flown to Perth where he remained in a coma.

On Tuesday, Mr Hickman’s sister Brooke Parker revealed he had woken from his coma and had now been moved into intensive rehab.

Ashley Hickman pictured in a critical condition in Bali following his scooter crash. Source: GoFundMe

“He is slowly progressing and is now in the post traumatic amnesia stage and has a long journey ahead,” she revealed on a GoFundMe page she set up last month to help with his escalating medical bills.

She shared an image of Mr Hickman in his hospital bed with his thumbs up.

“Thanks heaps for all your donations, appreciate it big time,” she quoted her brother as saying.

Speaking with Yahoo News Australia on Thursday, Ms Parker said the family are just thankful Mr Hickman has managed to pull through.

“We’re just incredibly grateful he’s still here today,” she said.

“He has a very long way to go before he’s independent again and has a couple more surgeries but he is ticking smal goals off daily.”

Ms Parker said Ms Matthews is now planning to relocate to Perth from Cairns and when Mr Hickman is stronger, she will bring over his beloved dog Chico.

Ashley Hickman gives a thumbs up from his hospital bed. Source: Facebook

While Mr Hickman had travel insurance, his policy didn’t cover his medical expenses as he didn’t meet the requirements of having an international driver’s licence and an Australian motorbike licence.

Friends were forced to scramble together thousands of dollars for emergency surgery in Bali while his fees continue to rise while in Perth.

While thankful for all the donations the family has received, they are well short of the funds needed to cover Mr Hickman’s medical costs which have rocketed beyond $100,000.

Ms Parker previously told Yahoo News Australia any donation, however small, would be warmly welcomed as the family live through an ordeal “you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy”.

She revealed her mother has also taken time off work to be by her son’s side.

Tam Matthews pictured with her partner Ashley Hickman. Source: Facebook

Risks of hiring scooters in Bali

Natalie Ball, director at Comparetravelinsurance.com.au, said visitors to Bali should be wary of using scooters and motorised vehicles when on holiday abroad.

“Young inexperienced travellers are taking to the roads in countries that are heavily congested. Often, these riders take little regard to their safety and fail to appreciate just how risky their actions may be,” she said.

“Very often, you would require an Australian motorbike license in order to ride bikes over a certain engine size as well as an International Driving Permit.

“You must also wear a helmet at all times. Neglecting to do so would automatically void your insurance, and could see you facing a fine from the authorities.”

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