Emi Thompson’s update…
I am very sorry to tell you all, that my original posted story WAS NOT ENTIERLY TRUE
WHAT’S TRUE - Emma had a horrendous accident and has brain injuries, horrible facial and body injuries that will require significant operations and rehabilitation and she does not have any Insurance Cover.
WHAT’S UNTRUE - There was no mugging - Emma fell off a scooter with no helmet on.
AN ADMISSION - I probably acted too quickly, on information provided to me by people in Bali – I did not conform or verify that information - at the time I started the Go Fund Me Page
A RECAP - It seems that Emma came off a scooter and was laying unconscious in the gutter, with no helmet and ended up in an ill-equipped hospital, with brain injuries, as well as horrendous facial injuries and broken bones in many places..
For the last week, we have been trying to get to the bottom of “where the original story came from” - information was jumbled, confusing and still is somewhat of a mystery.. Bali is not the easiest place to communicate with..
Myself and Emma’s family were in dialogue with Emma’s employer and friend - who located Emma, in a small regional Hospital that Emma had been taken to by a kind Balinese family – Emma’s family were quick to realise that she needed to be moved to BIMC Bali Hospital which was better equipped to deal with Emma’s medical requirements..
Within hours of Emma’s arrival at BIMC Bali Hospital, they had issued invoices and quotes which were to be paid for upfront before any procedures could take place. Emma’s friend paid the first hospital bills - Emi Thompson paid a further AU$6500 for the accommodation and tests to be carried out - the ongoing costs were to be $60,000 to carry out Emma’s suggested operations however, any committee these were not necessarily accepted by the family, as being what was required…
Now looking back and seeing that everyone was in a state of shock - I was anxious, emotional, confused - and perhaps somewhat too quick to act, as I was encouraged by the people in Bali who were on the spot with Emma and involved with her family, all of us being totally overwhelmed by Emma’s ongoing complicated medical requirements.
Apart from me paying some of Emma’s medical bills in order that she would not be discharged without any care - at 11 AM the next morning - I was encouraged to start a “go fund me page “ yes, I was naïve not to wait until I had done some more research and confirm exactly what had happened to Emma - and why she ended up in this predicament, but I was horrified and shocked knowing her condition, as the hospital staff were talking as if Emma may have permanent brain damage, if we did not act quickly and pay the appropriate money – AND at this stage we were potentially facing bills of AU $100,000 which we did not have.
I felt my friend Emma was all alone, in a “strange hospital” with people surrounding her that we did not know and had no connection with, in a somewhat unruly country, without family support or ANY money, I felt helpless that I could not be there with her…
Her family and I were in Australia and we did not have any way of knowing that the conflicting stories from Bali were incorrect - we simply acted on our instincts, knowing that we had to find the money as soon as possible, our first priority was to get Emma away from what seemed to us to be “a convenient / overpriced medical proposition” which had been put to us - and we were not confident that the recommendations given, were the right procedures for Emma’s injuries - therefore we took every step to have Emma flown back home to Australia.
The Australian Consulate and Medivac were excellent, although it took some time and AU$58,000 to transfer Emma from Bali to Perth, now having experienced the difference in the Emma’s assessment and treatment in the Perth Hospital compared to the Bali hospital, it has given us confidence that we definitely made the right decision..
I am happy to admit - that I am highly embarrassed - I certainly feel stupid and guilty that I did not get more confirmation at the time, before I launched the Go Fund Me Page –
At this point we have not taken any money from the fund, given that some of the detail has changed - even though the family is in massive debt - and I do not have any more money to give Emma.
I feel that perhaps - we should consider transferring all of the “beautiful people’s”- money back to them - given how the events have unfolded…
An alternative, would be for us to continue with Emma’s Appeal and honour the gestures and donations, that people have shown and given - which would provide Emma’s family reimbursement of some of the funds, that they so desperately need.
Emma’s Appeal funds would be sent to her sisters - Rachel, a nurse and her sister Sara, who have flown to Perth to manage Emma’s well-being - None of Emma’s family live in Perth.
Given Emma had to be flown at a very low altitude to avoid further complications - means there are more expenses to come, including flying her home to Queensland from Perth, apart from being risky it would have been more expensive - so Perth was the alternative -
I have never been in this position before – of course, I regret how it has turned out, however if Emma was in the same predicament again tomorrow - although I would do it a little differently I would still do what I could, for my dear friend..
Given that the original story was some what incorrect the Bell family is still desperately in need of funds - given that Emma’s medical costs are likely to be in excess of AU$100,000.
So given the current circumstances, I guess we will look for advice and feedback from the GO FUND ME TEAM - if they think it is best that we return all of the money - then so be it.. Our conscience will be clear…
I humbly and “formally apologise”- for misleading everyone with my initial story, perhaps allowing people to think that this might have been some sort of scam…
Which of course it isn’t…
I have not been able to speak to Emma as yet – it is difficult for her to communicate, but I am sure she would be super appreciative of all the support you have so graciously given..
Once again I am sincerely sorry that I got the initial message wrong –
The funds will be spent as follows :- AU$6,316.99 - will be reimbursed to Emi Thompson - ( Emma’s friend ) for her initial payment to the BIMC Bali Hospital - for the Bali Hospital bed accommodation - and the initial tests on Emma’s brain injuries - in order to diagnose the proposed treatments… PROOF OF PAYMENT PROVIDED TO THE GO FUND ME MANAGEMENT TEAM NOTE: Emi Thompson’s - $500 contribution to Go Fund Me Campaign will not be reimbursed The balance would go towards reimbursing the Bell family - Emma’s family had no money to pay for this incident, most of the family money has been spent, on Emma’s Dad who is battling Cancer - the family rallied together and “pasted the hat around” to raise the AU$57,700 - from family and friends to pay for Emma to be flown home from Bali via Medivac – PROOF OF PAYMENT PROVIDED TO THE GO FUND ME MANAGMENT Obviously the AU$17,441 raised to date, is well short of the funds that have already been spent, let alone what still has to be paid… There are further significant costs, that the family will have to pay, which will include all the expenses and future operation costs from the Perth Hospital, where Emma is currently being treated - although showing signs of recovery, she is still far from being released from hospital - then there is the complicated logistics of transporting Emma home to Queensland from Perth - as this will depend on her recovery and ability to fly at high altitude… THE GOOD PART OF OF THIS STORY The good part of Emma’s story is that the quick decisive action of her friends and family, and especially the quick response of the donors to respond to the Go Fund Me Campaign – providing the family with the confidence needed, to allow them to make the decision to remove Emma from the Bali Hospital where unnecessary complicated operations were strongly being recommended.. Just reflect for a second - can you imagine the processed decisions that have to be made – ( when you have no money ) to decide - to take your beautiful daughter, with severe brain injuries, out of a Bali hospital, where she has already been admitted - but without treatment - and fly her home, at low altitude and “ hope the decision you made “ to take her back to Australia for treatment instead, was the right one !! Let’s hope no other Australian family ever has to make this decision - especially with no funds available… A more technical analysis at the Perth Hospital was carried out, which recommended a different set of treatments, which is providing a less complicated and more speedy recovery program for Emma - even though she is not fully out of the woods yet.. The purpose of this post is to have the funds released - and possibly increase them, whilst being open and transparent, in highlighting the changes to the original story - but also to give all donors the opportunity “ if they wish “ - to retract their kind offers - because initial information was not exactly accurate – but, so far there has been minimal negativity… We hope that you will fully understand the family and friends panic, anxiousness and confusion, dealing with an emergency such as this from Australia - as I said in the previous post - Bali is not the easiest place to communicate with, let alone in such an emergency .. We very much appreciate the funds that have been contributed - they are currently being held from being released - given the above circumstances – We are more than happy to follow the recommendations and procedures of the Go Fund Me Team Managers - hence we have fully disclosed where the funds will be spent.
Thank you kindly.
We all forever grateful!
- Narelle O'Brien
- Melvin C
- Charles Truscott
- Tahlia Shields
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