THE heartbroken family of a man who died in Thailand can finally say goodbye properly after his body was flown home.
Philip Blakemore, 74, suffered a massive double stroke on January 10 while on holiday with his wife Vera.
He was taken to hospital in Chonburi where his family – who are having to cover massive medical bills because Mr Blakemore’s insurance company would not pay out – tried to save him.
Mr Blakemore, of Palatine Road, Blackpool, lost his brave fight for life on February 14 – the day he had been due to fly home.
His son-in-law Phil Green told The Gazette the family now had “closure” and could give Mr Blakemore the send off he deserved.
He said; “We had already paid the hospital £26,000 towards bills and an air ambulance so we basically had to appeal to their better nature to get him home.
“That was the worse thing, they were holding the cards. It was up to them what happened, all we could do was wait and hope and pray.
“We were so relieved when they told us he was coming home, I think by then the hospital was getting pressure from the British Embassy who were being leaned on by the Foreign Office in London.”
Mr Green said this week’s events were good news for the family, especially Mr Blakemore’s wife whose situation had been “a nightmare”.
Insurance broker StaySure would not pay up after it said Mr Blakemore had not disclosed certain information on his policy, namely he suffered from diabetes and poor circulation
He added: “We can all get over the hurt of it now and actually grieve for Philip, lay him to rest and get on with our lives.”
The family have been left with debts of more than £30,000 which they will endeavour to pay off over the next six months.
Mr Green, of High Gate, South Shore, added: “We have appealed to a couple of charities including the British legion and the RAF association and they are looking at ways they can help us. I think we will be OK.”
Mr Blakemore’s funeral will be held on Tuesday March 15 at Lytham Park Crematorium at 12.30pm.