86 year old UK man only identified as Ron flew home to Britain last Sunday on an Eva Air flight. The elderly man was tearful about the prospect of leaving Thailand after living here for seven years but the last year spent with a Thai woman in Samut Sakhon was one that he’d rather forget. This led to his rescue last week, by a kind-hearted expat after his family in the UK reached out to someone to help.

Ron, the ex British paratrooper rescued by his fellow countryman, Declan Theodore, in Samut Sakhon province last week has flown back to the United Kingdom to be reunited with his family. The 86 year old was reported to have been the victim of abuse at the hands of the Thai family he was staying with but for personal reasons, Ron did not want to report the matter to the police in Thailand. Before he departed the country days ago, a tearful Ron said he still loves Thailand where he had lived for 7 years. He wants to return to the kingdom but felt it would be wise for him not to take up again with a Thai woman.

Ron (left), the 86 year old ex British paratrooper, early last week, just over 24 hours after his escape when he was cared for by his rescuer Declan Theodore at a Hua Hin resort. Later, Declan (right) took him for medical tests and organised his flight home to the UK last Sunday to be reunited with his loving family.

The British vet and ex-paratrooper known only to Thai Examiner readers and the foreigner community as ‘Ron’, who was rescued by a UK national in Thailand last week, flew home to the United Kingdom on Sunday to be reunited with his loving family.

Days before he took off for home, Ron’s daughter in the UK, Marion Phillips, paid a warm tribute to expat Declan Theodore who bravely undertook what could have been a tricky mission when he set off alone to rescue Ron from a Thai family in Samut Sakhon on Sunday, May 17th.

UK expat not only rescued Ron but also took him into his care and ‘put him in a safe place’ says family

‘I can’t thank Declan enough – he’s rescued my dad and put him in a safe place and helped him get his strength back,’ Ron’s daughter said.

Declan not only rescued the former soldier and war hero but took him back to a Hua Hin resort for convalescence, took him to a hospital for medical checkups and organised his flight back to the UK last Sunday via Eva Air. 

Ron’s rescue brought out the good in people with one woman bringing her dog to give him moral support in Hua Hin while online, a crowd funding exercise raised well over £1,000 which the man himself wanted to be shut down once he was on his way back to his loved ones.

UK family reached out for Declan’s help on an expat forum as travel ban excluded them from Thailand

Declan became involved in the issue when Ron’s family reached out for help on an expat forum in Thailand.

The situation was that Ron, an ex-soldier and cab driver from Brighton, had flown to live in Thailand nearly seven years ago.

Ron, like many other expats in Thailand, moved to the land of smiles after losing his beloved wife in the United Kingdom who passed away.

His family, because of the inward flight ban and state of emergency restrictions, could not travel to Thailand to help him out.

New relationship with a Thai woman led to Ron’s predicament revealed daughter Marion from the UK

He had been in a relationship with a woman in Udon Thani but within the last year, a new relationship developed with a woman who wanted him to move to Samut Sakhon further south near Bangkok. 

She forced the issue and Ron moved to be with her. It was a mistake.

‘He got friendly with another Thai lady and was happy living in Udon but she wanted him to move about a year ago and that is when things went very wrong for my dad,’ his daughter Marion explained.

Living in a dingy room on a bed made from pallets

Ron was accommodated there at the top of a 3 story ramshackle and dingy room. He was left sleeping on a bed made from old pallets.

The family took his ATM card every week to withdraw funds from it but then barely fed the elderly man. Ron’s pension was replenishing the account.

Ron has a problem with his spine and his health is vulnerable.

In his video report last week, at the start of his mission, Declan divulged that Ron as receiving rice and water for sustenance.

The UK man’s family at home did not want to involve the police in the affair at Ron’s request.

That was a smart move. It would have simply made matters worse for Ron and created vexatious denials complicated by cultural differences.

On the day of his rescue, Declan was glad that the host family offered no resistance and let Ron go on his way.

See our earlier report on Ron’s rescue in Samut Sakhon here

The family in the UK believe their father was poorly treated.

He was malnourished and had lost a lot of weight. Happily, due to Declan’s intervention, it is a case of all’s well that ends well.

British man became emotional days before he left Thailand – still wants to return to the country

The 86 year old British man was emotional last weekend as he prepared to say his goodbyes to Thailand.

Like many other foreigners here, despite its many negative aspects and dangers, Ron had come to love the kingdom but he says he has learned one lesson.

Speaking with the hugely popular Thai Visa forum in the days running up to his flight home, he said this: ‘I am very relieved and happy to be going home. I’m still crying. I still love Thailand and I want to come back – I have a dog here that I love very much. But I am not going to get involved with any Thai woman again.’

Further reading:

83-year-old man rescued by a compatriot from a small room where he was fed on rice and water

Donate to Ron’s rescue and return home from Thailand to Brighton in the UK here

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