PATTAYA: Mark McKeown is the head coach with Planet Football in Pattaya where he has been involved in coaching and teaching football to underprivileged children for some years now. It is believed that he first developed the condition two weeks ago.

A popular UK football coach who has lived in Thailand for over a decade is reported to be receiving intensive care at a Pattaya hospital after developing a serious lung infection and pneumonia.

Some pictures of UK football coach Mark McKeown with friends from happier times in Pattaya where he has lived and worked for the last 12 years. He is the second UK man known to have developed a serious lung infection and pneumonia in the last two months following the case of 32-year-old Ashley Shorley (inset right) who in January had to undergo five hours of emergency surgery on his lungs when doctors in Bumrungrad Hospital decided to act to save that young man’s life.

A 32-year-old UK man who has lived and worked in Pattaya for the last twelve years has been induced into a coma at a hospital in Pattaya and is fighting for his life.

It is believed that the UK man is suffering from a type A flu infection such as the one developed by compatriot Andrew Shorley on the Phi Phi islands at the end of last year and which later required him to undergo emergency surgery in January at an elite Bangkok hospital.

UK family flies to Pattaya to be at his bedside

The family of Mark McKeown from the United Kingdom have flown to Pattaya and are at his bedside praying for a turnaround in his condition. They include his mother and father as well as his siblings, two brothers Lee and Shaun as well as his sister Jodie.

A crowdfunding appeal has been launched urgently to help the family pay the expensive medical bills at the hospital as doctors do everything possible to save the young man’s life.

He is fighting a very severe lung infection which has developed into acute pneumonia.

Family reported being faced with a hospital bill of ฿82,000 per day to keep the British man alive 

Mark’s best friend from the UK is Richard Sanderson. He has explained that the costs the family are facing amount to £2,000 (฿82,000 ) per day. 

So far, generous friends and supporters of Mr McKeown have raised nearly £17,000 ((฿697,000 ) for the young man who is quite popular both at home in Hemlington in Middlesbrough and Pattaya.

Friend Richard visits mark in Pattaya regularly

Richard, who visits Mark regularly in Pattaya, is helping to support his friend and coordinating the fundraising effort.

‘He’s in a really bad way. Everyone is in bits and can’t believe what’s happening. His family are trying everything possible to keep him alive. It’s costing £2,000 a day to keep him in there,’ he told the media this week as he explained the necessity for crowdfunding.

Head coach of one of Pattaya’s most popular sporting facilities where he trains young footballers

Mark McKeown is the head coach with Planet Football, a highly successful club in Pattaya and sports facility where he works with underprivileged children introducing them to football which is taking off in the kingdom.

The Planet Football sports facility is also a very popular meeting and recreation venue for expats in the resort city.

It is understood that Mr Mc Keown admitted himself to the hospital two weeks ago with the infection which has since grown stronger and precipitated his family’s flight to Thailand to be with him.

Friends of the sportsman distraught

Richard, this week, told a local newspaper in the Teeside area of the United Kingdom that Mark had been home to his native country during the Christmas period last year and is a former student of Coulby Newham Secondary School.

He said that many people have been shocked to find out what has happened to Mark who he described as a ‘fit and outgoing lad’ in the last few days. ‘I’ve had lads ringing me in tears about him,’ he revealed.

Second severe case of pneumonia to take down a UK man in Thailand in the last two months

This is the second reported case of severe pneumonia that has befallen a UK national in Thailand in the last two months.

In January, the parents of UK man Ashley Shorley had to walk the streets of Bangkok as their 32-year-old son underwent 5 hours of emergency surgery at the city’s acclaimed Bumrungrad Hospital after his case of lung infection and pneumonia got out of control leaving doctors with no alternative.

Mother and father of Ashley Shorley also made a dash for Thailand after their son’s condition deteriorated

His mother and father, Christopher and Judie Shorley had also flown to be at their son’s bedside when the infection he contracted at the end of December got out of control.

Mr Shorley was transferred twice from the Phi Phi islands where he came down sick eventually to Bumrungrad, which is one of Thailand’s most advanced hospitals.

Mr Shorley was tested for the coronavirus by doctors at one point in Krabi but was diagnosed instead with a Type A flu infection which can develop into a very serious condition in Thailand.

Click here if you would like to support Mr McKeown and his family in Pattaya.

Further reading:

UK man survives vicious flu infection after emergency 5-hour surgery on his lungs at a top Bangkok hospital