South West Wales

British backpacker Calvin Hill 'stuck' in Cambodia

Calvin looking thin in a hospital bed Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Mr Hill's weight has plummeted since he has fallen ill

A British backpacker who got sepsis after a mosquito bite has been stuck in a hospital in Cambodia for more than two months, his family has said.

Calvin Hill, 27, from Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, came out of a coma and has been declared fit to fly by hospital staff, according to relatives.

They want him home soon amid concern his condition could deteriorate.

But his insurer Flexicover said it did not want to put Mr Hill at any "unnecessary risk".

Mr Hill's mother Tracey said he was found unconscious and "not breathing properly" by roommates at a hostel.

Shortly before the collapse, he had complained of "feeling groggy" after being bitten by mosquitoes, she said.

He spent two weeks in a coma, with doctors telling his family to expect the worst.

"He was on life support," his mother said. "On three different occasions we were told he wouldn't make it, and that his liver, kidneys and lungs were failing."

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Mr Hill pictured in Cambodia before he was taken ill

Despite doctors' predictions he has since come out of the coma and is now able to talk and move his limbs.

"It was a miracle," Ms Hill said. "I'm not a religious person, but these things do really happen."

But she said he had been left half of his original weight and he has a hole in his foot.

"The state of Calvin's foot is unbelievable - it's quite a big hole where he had the infection - like the size of a 2p piece," she added.

"It has gone black and now the skin has died on it."

Flexicover has agreed to pay for Mr Hill's treatment and fly him to a facility in Thailand before he makes the 14-hour flight back to the UK.

"They are saying he's too unwell to bring home, but he's never going to get better until he comes home," his mother said.

"It's such a simple thing to be bitten by a mosquito, but life has changed for us - Calvin will never be the same person."

Flexicover said its emergency team was liaising with the hospital in Cambodia, but would not make any decisions its medical experts thought could complicate Mr Hill's health or recovery.

A spokesman added: "We appreciate that Mr Hill's friends and family are keen for his return to the UK which we will fully support at a time that is medically appropriate.

"We never put our customers in situations which could lead to unnecessary risk."

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Calvin Hill was in a coma for two weeks, according to his family

What is sepsis?

  • The body's reaction to an infection
  • Starts with an infection that can come from anywhere - even a contaminated cut or insect bite
  • If an infection spreads quickly through the body, the immune system launches a massive response
  • This response can have catastrophic effects on the body, leading to septic shock, organ failure and even death
  • Sepsis needs to be spotted and treated quickly, usually with antibiotics, before it spreads

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