A British dad is facing amputation after half of his leg was devoured by a flesh-eating bug when he was bitten by a scorpion while holidaying in Thailand.
Alan Stephenson, 73, is anxiously waiting for news of whether medics will amputate the remains of his infected limb.
The man from Hull, East Yorkshire, suffered a freak reaction to the bite which developed into the gruesome disease that has stripped his skin and flesh has from his leg from toe to knee.
His family have now set out to raise the £18k needed for a flight to bring him home from a remote part of Thailand and save his leg.
Alan had travelled to Thailand to spend a few months exploring the country, but had his travels disrupted by the horror bite.
After being bitten, he rang his son, Kristian Stephenson, on November 9 to say he was in hospital and feeling worse and worse.
Kristian, 44, underwent a difficult journey to be by his dad’s side in a ramshackle hospital, miles from the closest city.
He feared for his dad’s life after seeing cockroaches crawling on the hospital ceiling and stray cats eating food left out for patients.
Meanwhile, Alan was in “absolute agony”, Kristian said, and was so confused he could not remember where his visa or documents were.
Kristian said: “It was like something from Banged Up Abroad. The hospital conditions were appalling and didn’t have the resources to do anything with his leg.
“I thought: He is going to die here.”
Alan suffers from diabetes which led to his leg becoming red and swollen.
A short time later, infection flared up and Alan was diagnosed with a flesh-eating disease. He then was told by doctors that amputation was the only option, Kristian said.
“His leg looked horrendous, but because he wasn’t being turned over or helped out of bed, he had bed sores that were just as bad,” Kristian said.
While his dad was battling the infection, the place he had been staying was demanding rent and taking his belongings to cover the cost.
The hospital was also demanding the soaring medical bills be settled in cash, even though the nearest ATM was nearly two miles away.
The family decided to move Alan to a better but more expensive hospital in a nearby town.
Doctors there said they could remove the infected leg, but the operation was repeatedly rescheduled, leaving the family with spiralling bills for treatment.
The family is being helped by Hull MP Karl Turner, who said: “Since Kristian contacted my office regarding his dad’s situation I have been speaking with government ministers continuously to see if they can help with Alan’s repatriation to Britain.
“I am aware that Kristian is now with Alan but he is apparently struggling to get support from the British consular teams in Thailand.
“I will continue to push government ministers to ensure that’s Kristian and Alan get the support they need at this incredibly worrying time.”