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Rochester teacher Zoe Eleftheriou flying home after suffering burns in petrol station explosion in Cambodia

A teacher who suffered severe burns when a petrol station exploded is due to arrive back in the UK today - two months earlier than originally expected.

Zoe Eleftheriou, from Rochester, is flying home from Thailand with a medical team from a Bangkok hospital where she has been in intensive care since the horrific blast three weeks ago.

Zoe Eleftheriou. Picture: Facebook
Zoe Eleftheriou. Picture: Facebook

The 22-year-old will taken by ambulance from Heathrow to the burns unit at Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead where she will undergo skin grafts in the next few days.

Her mother Mary flew out to her bedside followed by brother, David, 26, who had been going out to join Zoe on a holiday.

Zoe and her friend, American Abigail Alexander, 18, both teachers at the resort town of Siem Reap, Cambodia, had been riding on a moped when the explosion happened.

Zoe, a former head girl at Thomas Aveling School, Rochester, was transferred to Bangkok while her colleague is now being treated at a hospital in Denver, Colorado.

Until this Tuesday, Zoe had been on a ventilator, keeping her alive under a cocktail of medication, including painkillers.

Her heart has stopped several times.

Further surgery was due to go ahead abroad but her family decided, as she was now well enough to travel, to bring her home.

Zoe Eleftheriou was seriously injured in the blast in Siem Reap, Cambodia
Zoe Eleftheriou was seriously injured in the blast in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Dad Christopher Eleftheriou, of Rochester, said: “She still has a long journey to go, but she’s still alive and we are relieved at her progress so far. We cannot thank the team in Bangkok enough.

“Zoe has already started counselling sessions. They have done a marvellous job to get her to this stage.

“They have been communicating with medical staff over here with her medical notes.

"A nurse and a doctor are accompanying her on the journey and she will met in an ambulance and handed over into the care of East Grinstead.”

Mum Mary, posting on Facebook, said: “As a family we would like to thank everyone of you that has sent prayers and messages to us during this very worrying and difficult time.

"They have kept our hopes and spirits lifted. Until you have been placed in a situation like this you do not realise how much comfort can be found from words that are being sent to you.

“We know this is not the end of Zoe’s treatment and she still has a long way to go physically and mentally so we ask that you still keep her in your prayers.”

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