Public raise 36k in three days to help injured Sait.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Public raise 36k in three days to help injured Sait. thumbnailSait Can Ozdemir has damaged his spinal cord in a devastating bike crash in Thailand.

AN INCREDIBLE outpouring of support has been shown to Ballymartin man Sait Can Ozdemir who sustained spinal injuries while bike riding with friends in Thailand last Wednesday (6 December).

Son to Christine (nee Annett) and aerospace factory employee Sedat Ozdemir, 27-year-old Sait Can had arrived in Chiang Mai, Thailand just 10 days before the accident.

Currently receiving treatment at Chiang Mai Ram Hospital, the travel insurance is covering €30,000 (26,505) which will be enough for hospital expenses, however, the family will need to pay for an air ambulance to take him back home enabling him to receive further treatment, this cost is believed to be in the region of 45k.

Reita Mulholland, Sait Can's aunt, said the family had contacted the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust but they were unable to assist as they only provide help to bereaved families.

"This then spurred us on and together we decided to set up the Go-FundMe account 'Get Sait Can Home' in a bid to raise the necessary funds. Already, this has made us think about setting something up to help families facing the same situation as ourselves, once we get my nephew home and on the mend."

Amazingly, nearly 75 per cent of the total costs required to enable the safe return of Sait Can was achieved in just two days.

"Family and friends have just been tremendous," said an emotional Reita.

"If this has taught me anything it's to never underestimate the compassion shown by family and friends in times of need.

"He is such a great guy with a sensible head on his shoulders and a very likeable character. His friends at home have just been incredible, he went to school in Ballymartin Primary and then Shimna Integrated College before studying at Queen's University in Belfast.

Before his travels, he was working as a researcher in a laboratory in Belfast, saving up for this two year trip around the world," added Reita.

Sait Can along with two of his friends left on 4 October on a two year around-the-world trip of a lifetime starting in Asia.

The friends had rented bicycles last Wednesday to explore the area and as they were going downhill Sait Can lost control of the bike falling into a two feet ditch.

Thanks to bystanders, including a paramedic, they were able to get the emergency services to him quickly.

Sait Can was brought to the local hospital where he had several scans including CT scans, MR and x-rays.

He sustained a broken wrist, a punctured lung, fluid on his lungs and most serious of all he had damaged several vertebrae and broken at least one.

The doctors say the broken vertebrae has damaged his spinal cord and there is a very slim chance of him ever walking again.

The family want to raise funds to give Sait Can the best possible chance of walking again and bring him home to his family.

Sait Can's mum made the journey from Turkey on Friday where she was staying with Sait Can's sister Vicki Kaya.

"We are all shocked by the amount of support and donations we have received and just how quickly we have been able to gather the amount raised so far.

"Our whole family is greatly touched by the love and support we have received and appreciate all everyone is doing to get Sait Can home again.

"The family are remaining positive and we are very hopeful that he will make a full recovery," said Vicki.

On Sunday (10 December) doctors advised that Sait Can is not to travel until his lungs have recovered, he has severe bruising on both lungs which are still bleeding and because of this he is on his seventh blood transfusion.

Speaking about how the family have pulled together during this testing time, Reita said: "It has really brought our family together and we are all doing our bit and more to help him.

"My son lives in North Carolina and on Saturday he decided before going to work that he would donate all of his tips to the fund. He managed to raise an incredible $750 in just four hours.

"On behalf of all the family, we are so, so grateful to everyone who has offered their prayers, well wishes and donations to Sait Can.

"We are aware of a specialist hospital in Dublin and there has also been talk of a hospital in London but nothing has been confirmed as of yet.

"My sister Christine is meeting with the doctors tomorrow (Tuesday) to get an update on how everything is going and what the plans are".

The entire family circle would like to express a sincere thanks to everyone who has helped in any way.

* Donations can be made by calling into Ahead with Reita, Railway Street, Newcastle or online at


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