Stephen’s legacy for Joe

Stephen Campbell
Stephen Campbell
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The family of a Blackpool barber who died in Thailand will not have to pay £30,000 to repatriate his body – after the insurance company said they would cover the cost.

Stephen Campbell, 38, died last Wednesday from injuries he suffered during a jet ski incident in the east coast resort of Pattaya.

The barber, from Talbot Road, Layton, was riding the machine when he hit a wave, lost his balance and fell into a rope.

His family feared they would have to raise the huge sum as the activity was not covered in his insurance policy.

A fund-raising group – Bring Him Home – was set up on Facebook to raise money, and had already secured more than £12,000 when Mr Campbell’s family were told the 
insurance company would cover the cost of his repatriation.

Mr Campbell’s sister, Catherine Campbell-Ward, said: “Following the publicity surrounding Steve’s tragic fatal accident the insurance company have been in contact this evening and we have just received e-mailed confirmation to say that, in this instance, they have reviewed the file and will pay the costs of repatriation even though his death was due to an excluded activity in his policy.

“While this is wonderful news, it leaves us in the difficult position of having asked for help to return Stephen, we now have a fund of money that has been donated by you to Bring Him Home.”

The family has decided to donate the left over money to Joe Knowles, a four-year-old from Bipsham who suffers from cerebral palsy.

The youngster needs £38,000 to pay for an operation to help him walk, and the family believes giving Joe the money would be a fitting legacy for the 38-year-old.

The Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy procedure, would involve a surgeon cutting around two thirds of the nerves leading to Joe’s legs, preventing them causing the stiffness that keeps him from walking without support.

Mrs Campbell-Ward added: “We know there are many good causes out there that would benefit from donations, but having discussed the matter in depth we feel a great legacy to Stephen would be the sight of Joe walking, or even as Stephen would have done, skateboarding down the Promenade.

“We will never be able to thank you all individually but you will always be in our hearts and, God willing, walking in Joe’s shadow.”