Family of Brit struck down by mystery disease in Wuhan need £90k to get him home

The family of a Brit teacher struck down by a mystery disease in Wuhan fear they'll never see him again as they need £90,000 to bring him home.

Mark Poole, originally from Burnley, Lancashire, went into a coma after suffering a severe seizure in October 2020.

The 56-year-old, who teaches English as a foreign language in China, was later put on a ventilator after he caught a severe lung infection in a Shenzhen hospital, LancsLive reports.

He's since come out of his coma but is still recovering in hospital, which is costing his elderly mum up to £500 a day.

Daughter Danielle Poole, 32, feared she'd never see her dad again.

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"Just learning that he was in a coma, on a ventilator, I just thought that was it, he's never going to get out of this and I'm not going to be able to say goodbye to him," she said.

"Free-spirited" former textiles worker Mark moved to China in 2008 after retraining as a teacher following his divorce.

Danielle admits worrying about her dad teaching in Wuhan when news of the coronavirus first surfaced a year ago.

"It was scary, I was absolutely terrified," she said.

"I think there was a lot of hyperbole around it, not that it wasn't serious, but I think the media made it seem absolutely terrifying."

On October 10 Mark was due to take another winding journey across China for his next teaching post but was found unconscious by a colleague after he suffered a sudden seizure.

He spent several weeks in a coma before contracting a serious lung infection while in hospital.

While his insurance is paying for his medical support, due to the nature of the Chinese health service his family are having to pay for everything else.

Mark's mum Pat Judge, 77, has already shelled out £9,000 for her son including the cost of his bed linen, hospital gowns, nurse care and food.

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In December Mark came out of his coma and has spent the past few weeks recovering from his lung infection.

With his extortionate care bills continuing to mount up, Danielle and Pat are trying to get him home to the UK.

Due to Covid travel restrictions and rules their only option is to have Mark flown on a commercial flight in first or business class, to allow him to lie down, and with three flight medics in attendance.

This could cost close to £90,000, which Danielle is trying to raise through a GoFundMe campaign.

Danielle said: "My grandma is the strongest person I know, she will pay for my dad to come home, I don't want people to think that he will be stranded if we don't raise this money.

"But I'm trying to raise as much money as possible for her so she doesn't have to do this."

Pat and Danielle are currently awaiting confirmation from the UK Foreign Office and other officials to get Mark home.

More than 20 forms need to be notarised in order for the flight to go ahead. Once that is done Mark will be flown from China to Hong Kong, then from Hong Kong to Germany and then onto the UK.

The £90,000 costs will cover the flights and the three medics who will then have to self-isolate for three weeks when they arrive in England.

"I want my dad home more than anything; I can't bear to think of him alone in China," Danielle said.

"But I can't imagine what is happening to my grandma either, she's a working-class woman and this is her pension that is being spent.

"She's worked for this all her life, what will she be left with at the end of this?"

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