Facebook Used as Platform to Raise Funds for Teacher in Coma
Some stories are just too tragic to feel true. One case is that of Adam Pickes, a British school teacher at The Regents International School in Chonburi, Thailand. One day, a hammer or a metal bar (as yet unsure) made its way to the top of his head, and since that attack in May 2012, Adam Pickles has been in a coma.
Terrible as it is, this is not the first terrible incident that happened to Adam Pickles. He had once been involved in a deadly motorcycle accident that resulted in facial rebuilding.
Let’s put the reality as stark as possible: Adam Pickles is in a coma, in Thailand, and has no insurance.
In times of necessity, the human heart manages to cross barriers. Some friends, and family of Adam Pickles got together, and created an Adam Pickles’ Fundraising group page on Facebook, and at the time of writing, there are over 6,800 members. This incredibly large network does not only include family and friends, but also complete strangers that have made donations to this incredibly worthwhile fund.
In the movie, Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert sends out an email asking for donations, and raises USD 18,000 to help Wayne’s family to buy a house in Bali. For us, stories like this usually occur in novels and the movies. Real generosity is never usually this close to home, but after reading about the case of Adam Pickles, I am much more heartened on the human quality of helping, and utilizing technology (Social Media) as a tool for that.
According to Adam Pickles’ Fundraising blog, the intensive care unit was costing an equivalent of 2,000 GBP per day and the insurance (Bangkok Life Assurance) took months before they made decisions regarding payments.
However, in less than a week on Facebook group, they have managed to raise 14,000 GBP in donations, which is a big amount but sadly sufficient for only about 7 days in the case of Pickles. The bills kept increasing with each complication and medication required for such a coma patient.
Nevertheless, Adam’s friends and family did not give up. They still raise funds from all over: Pickles Aid in the UK, Football tournament in Thailand, Rugby Charity in Dubai, Russia with Love, a special event at Hilton Pattaya gathering nine top chefs, sky diver fund-raising, school events and many more.
As of June 25, Adam Pickles has been safely transferred to hospital back in Leeds, UK by air ambulance and his recovery is on the positive side. This is due to the heartfelt contributions of everyone.
The story of Adam Pickles has been covered in many media including the BBC, Yorkshire Post, and other local UK newspapers and TV shows. His story has made headlines and we hope he will wake up to see how people have been supporting him.
Often we believe that Facebook is unproductive and that mostly narcissists use Facebook to upload their photos and details on places they dine and hang out in. While these beliefs are mostly true (to a level), Adam Pickles’ friends and family have shown us that Facebook can be a social medium that has the ability to connect over 900 million people all over the world as a positive, useful and important networking tool in helping saving a person’s life.
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