Ballymena family in message of thanks to fundraisers after Thailand horror crash
The father of a man who suffered life-changing injuries in a motorbike crash in Thailand has thanked the people of Ballymena for their support as they try to bring him home.
Mike Johnston (30) - who moved to Thailand in January to teach English - is in hospital in Bangkok, where he is recovering after an operation to amputate part of his badly damaged leg.
It was just one of the injuries he suffered on February 10.
Mr Johnston's parents, Michael and Jillian, flew to Thailand to be with their son, but they face the huge financial burden of his medical care and flights back to Northern Ireland.
The couple launched a gogetfunding appeal to help raise £25,000 and, thanks largely to the generosity of people from their Co Antrim hometown, they have reached 35% of their target.
Mr Johnson senior is sending regular updates to family and friends in Ballymena about his son's condition and thanked them for their continuing help.
In his latest post from Bangkok on Monday, Mr Johnston senior wrote: "I just want to update you on Mike's current situation. He is now three days post-operation and although in a lot of pain and under the influence of pain relief and other meds, he is a little bit better.
"We still have a long way to go on the path to rehab and recovery, but it all starts from here.
"Getting Mike home is our first priority and I will keep everyone updated as this plan progresses over the coming days.
"This of course is a very fluid situation, which is being assessed on an ongoing basis by the medical team in Bangkok.
"Mike has asked me to thank everyone for their good wishes and very kind campaign support.
"He is really very appreciative of all this help from friends here in Thailand and from everyone back home in Ballymena."
Jim Allister MLA, who knows the family, said that people in Ballymena were deeply shocked to hear of the tragedy.
He said: "Like so many other people from Ballymena I was saddened to hear about this and send my thoughts and prayers to the Johnston family.
"At times like these people will want to do what they can and the best thing people can do is to support the fundraising campaign the family have set up and I would encourage as many people as possible to do that.
"Understandably, Mr and Mrs Johnston will want their son back home as soon as he is medically fit to travel."
Anyone who would like to help Mr and Mrs Johnston cover the cost of bringing their son home can contribute via gogetfunding.com and searching for Mike Johnston