• James King

When Christmas isn't so Merry

Christmas Day 2019 will be hard to forget. In the days leading up to the twenty-fifth, I produced FLASH, a small collection of flash fiction stories, poems and quotes. My original intention was for the book to introduce me and my writing to readers.

A Christmas Message

Then on Christmas Day, I received an email from a good old friend in Cape Town. It wasn't the usual, Merry Christmas, old chap, kind of email to go with the other one I got that day. But a sad story of another bad motorbike accident in Thailand, a country which has a dreadful history of road accidents, making it one of the most dangerous places in the world to drive.

Friday the Thirteenth

On the evening of Friday the 13th of December 2019, John Dell Riley, a young man from South Africa, teaching Thai children at a school in Chiang Mai, was seriously injured in a road accident near his home. At the time of writing, no witnesses have come forward, nor have any other persons involved in the accident. It isn’t confirmed, but the severe nature and extent of his injuries, indicate that he was hit from behind by a vehicle moving at speed. As is often the case in road accidents in Thailand, it looks as though the burden of medical costs has been dumped, squarely on the victim, who is incapacitated.

So, at a time of celebration and joy, John was lying in a hospital bed, recovering from severe trauma, a long way from his family in South Africa, but not far from my home in Chiang Mai. I'm not superstitious, but we are in Thailand, which is. And believe it or not the Room number is 1213.

What could I do?

My first reaction to the bad news was to feel sorry for John, especially when I heard he was in so much pain. I suppose it was natural to feel that way, but it wasn't going to help him much. So, I thought about a more practical way I might be able to help, and an idea came to me while I was in the toilet. I get all my best ideas there.

When I visited him for the first time on the third of january, he was heavily sedated after his third operation, so we couldn’t talk much. But it gave me the opportunity to talk with his mother Dell, who flew out to be with him at the hospital. I am trying to find out more and will be visiting again soon.

I have dedicated FLASH to John, hoping it will help his brother, who has already received generous donations towards the costs of John’s recovery.

Click on JOHN DELLS MEDICAL CROWDFUND to learn more.

The book is FREE, and I hope you will download and enjoy it. And while you are reading, spare a thought for John. If you think the book is worth a small donation please visit BACKABUDDY, read about John, and watch the video of what he is doing for Thailand’s kids, and how you can help him.

You can follow John's recovery on Facebook

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© 2019 by jameskingbooks.com