86-year-old ex-soldier Ron from Brighton rescued by a UK expat living in Thailand Declan Theodore after losing contact with his family at home. Mr Theodore claims that he found the elderly man living in spartan conditions while third parties had access to his ATM card and British pension. He has asked all expats in Thailand to take the time to check on more elderly members of the community or any elderly foreigner stranded in Thailand during this emergency.
UK expat Declan Theodore has made an appeal to all expats and foreigners in the kingdom to look out for elderly friends or acquaintances at this time of emergency. It follows his compassionate rescue of an 86-year-old UK ex-paratrooper from a three-storey building on Sunday who had lost access to his family and cash while stranded in the kingdom. The man was found living in a small, sparsely furnished room and fed on rice and water while third parties accessed his British pension via an ATM card.
Last Sunday, Declan Theodore set off on a rescue mission in Thailand. The UK expat was responding to a plea for help from a family back in Britain concerning an elderly relative who appeared to have gone astray in Thailand.
The elderly man’s family could not fly to the kingdom to locate and assist him because of the current inward travel ban in place.
The answer was the UK expat who immediately sensed the plight of his compatriot and determined he would help.
6am as UK man sets off on rescue mission last Sunday to rescue the elderly paratrooper in a vulnerable state
In his 6am video on Sunday, Declan alerted his friends and followers to the case of the elderly man, an ex British paratrooper named Ron, who he claimed was quartered in a room on the top of a three-story building in Thailand with no furniture or proper bed.
‘They’re feeding him rice and water to all intents and purposes,’ Declan said. He then revealed that there was something else of concern. ‘Once a week they are actually taking his ATM card and withdrawing his British pension.’
Tracked down the location where 83-year-old Ron was living in a small room at the top of the house
‘This morning I’m hoping to be heading off,’ he said online, ‘to see if we can get this gent picked up.’
He earlier revealed that they had tracked down the exact location in Samut Sakhon province near Bangkok where the UK man was being held.
The rescue mission was successful and it was not long before Declan was confronted with the gaunt and pale man in what he described as an 8ft by 6ft room.
He found that he had been sleeping on a makeshift bed. He explained that the 86-year-old, for one thing, had been challenged to navigate outside the room and down the steep stairs in the building.
There were also many people living at the location and other situations that Declan has not revealed that made Ron reticent about leaving.
The elderly man was in a vulnerable position and simply needed assistance from home.
‘You can take me home?’
When Ron saw Declan entering the room, he asked immediately, ‘You can take me home? And Declan didn’t let him down.
‘Absolutely sir, let’s go,’ he said. ‘Where you from?
When Declan replied that he was from Liverpool, the older man began singing that city’s anthem ‘Ferry across the Mersey.’
It was a touching moment.
UK expat brought former soldier home to a comfortable bed, hot shower and nutritious food
Declan took Ron home to a comfortable bed, hot shower and the relaxing environment of a bedroom with a garden outside.
His first priority was to make sure the old man got some sleep and nutritious food.
‘The old guy is safe and cleaned up and a few hundred miles away from the world he woke up in this morning with a hot shower a garden to walk around in when he woke up,’ he wrote after the rescue. ‘He told me he was not sure if he would see a bed again.’
Expat living in Thailand disturbed and calls on colleagues to look out for elderly friends at this time
Declan is disturbed by what happened to Ron.
‘I have seen a side to this amazing country that has no place in modern times,’ he said this week.
He is calling on all expats living in Thailand to take the time, especially during this Covid 19 emergency which is unprecedented and has left many vulnerable, to ask themselves if every elderly expat they know is safe and accounted for.
‘I would urge anyone who has a gut feeling about maybe a friend who has gone quiet. Or not responded to messages. To just check up on them,’ he implores. ‘Try to make sure Old John. Or Frank or Tommy is actually ok.’
Took Ron to hospital for a checkup
On Wednesday, Declan took Ron to a local hospital for a full checkup to see if he was ready to fly home.
Flights between Thailand and the UK are very difficult to find right now and because they are so limited, they are far more expensive.
However, the brave and heroic British man is hoping to get Ron a flight back to the UK this weekend if possible so that he can be reunited with his loving family at home, in Brighton, on the south coast of England.
Crowdfunding to fly him back home
He approached British consular officials for help but apart from suggesting that he get Ron’s family to assist, they also introduced crowdfunding.
Declan has set up an appeal for £2,000 towards Ron’s rescue and return from Thailand.
After less than 72 hours, it had already raised 73% of the target or £1,476.
If you wish to donate, please click here or see the link below.