Coma victim Gareth Harnett tells of Thailand ordeal
Bobby Alamouti and Gareth Harnett (right) from Broadstairs
Ramsgate coma victim Gareth Harnett who died twice in hospital
in Thailand is recovering at home and has a very special message
for his friends, family and the people of Thanet - “I owe you
everything, from the bottom of my heart.”
The 29-year-old collapsed with a heart attack on holiday in
Phuket last month.
His friends with him in south east Asia and the people back in
Thanet mounted an immediate fund raising campaign via social
networking sites on the Internet to pay for life-saving medical
He needed urgent transfer to a private hospital after local
medical staff warned the first health centre where he was taken-
which had stray dogs walking around the wards - would not give him
a good chance of high quality treatment.
Speaking from his home in Woodford Avenue, Gareth said: “I am
lucky to be alive - I am told I flatlined twice after the heart
"I owe everything to my mates who were with me who put up
thousands of pounds initially to get me into a well-equipped
hospital where I stood a chance.
“People back home in Thanet then started donating and raising
money straight away to keep the fund going. I cannot thank them
Gareth recalls the moment just before he lost consciousness and
his nightmare began.
He said: “I had a few drinks and was aware that I was feeling
very poorly with a very tight chest.
"I headed for the health centre near where we were staying and
all I can recall is seeing a sign of a red cross as I went in.
“Then I knew nothing until I came out of the coma to see my
mates standing around me.
"It must have murder for my friends with me and at home, going
through all that.”
"I am lucky to be alive - I am told I flatlined twice after the heart attack.
" – Gareth Harnett
Patrick Dyett, who immediately put £6,000 towards Gareth’s hospital
fees, confirmed it has been a huge strain on the group, watching
their lifelong pal battle back from a coma and his recovery in
“It was been a tough time mentally for us out there. We can’t
thank everyone enough for their support.”
The fund-raising campaign stood at around £10,000 on an online
pledge site, with more raised in Thanet.
Once all the expenses had been paid there was still around
£3,000 left, which Gareth and his pals are donating “on behalf of
the amazing people who donated” to the Thanet Hospice at
He added: “People moan and complain about some of the people in
Thanet but I tell you, the community spirit is amazing - they are
all real diamonds.”
Now Gareth is planning to take things easy and put his life back
He said: “My chest and ribs still hurt from the bruising from
the CPR treatment but I have seen a private specialist and I have
been given a clean bill of health.
"Now I’m off the fags and drink and aim get myself healthy and
start a new life with the chance I have been given.”
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