Bargirl Needs An Op
I have read other peoples posts on your site many times and found them to be very interesting. I am writing you this letter in the hopes that you might be able to help me, offer some advice or just by giving me your opinion would be most appreciated.
I spent 3 weeks in Thailand on holidays at Christmas. I really like Thailand. I have been there 7 times since my first trip at Christmas. I started off in Phuket, stayed there for a week and then went to Bangkok for a few days. I decided then I'd go to Ko Pha Ngan. I first went to Ko Samui, got a hotel in Lamai, thought that I would spend 3 days there and then get a boat over to Ko Pha Ngan.
The first night I went out I met a Thai lady at a lady bar who told me her name was Pear. We spent the night together and she seemed nice so I thought as I was only going to be there for 3 days and we could stay together and she could show me around. She was very happy with this idea so long as I paid her bar fines and gave her some spending money which I did.
The next morning we rented scooters from her friend's shop and I explored the island with Pear as my guide. The third day was also Christmas Day it was to be my last day. We decided we'd stay around Lamai beach area that day. Pear told me police don't check for helmets around Lamai so there was no need to wear them so we left them at the hotel that morning. We drove around for a while and then went to the beach and spent most of the day there. We had a meal about 7 PM on the beach and decided we'd go back to the hotel to shower and change to go out. On the way back I drove past the hotel as it was easy to miss. I pulled over to the left to let the cars go past and then made a slow u-turn but I made the turn a little too wide and the scooter scraped the side of the high curb and I was straightening up and we fell off. I got up straight away, picked the bike up and helped Pear up. We were going very slow and I knew I was fine and I thought Pear was too. But straight away she started crying!
Some Thai people came over to us and spoke to Pear and then they left. Pear said they asked if she wanted them to call the police but she said no. I asked her how she was and she said she hit her head and it hurts. We were not wearing helmets at the time.
I looked at her head where she said it hurts and although I could not see a cut or a bump I took what she was saying very seriously as I know that head injuries can be major. I said that we should get a taxi and go to the hospital for her to be
examined and I would go with her, but she just did not want to go to the hospital no matter what I said to her she would just get more and more annoyed. She said that the hospital was very expensive in Ko Samui because of all the tourists. She
was afraid that I would leave her she said. Although in mind I was worried about what would happen and how I would pay for the hospital, I really felt that I now had a moral responsibility to her. She told me she was worried that she might need
an operation and that it would be too expensive there and also she told me that if we went to hospital the police would arrest me, take my money and then she would be left alone.
By now we were back at the hotel room and she was showing sings of concussion like being sick and having trouble sitting and walking. I was going out of my mind with worry because I felt strongly that Pear should be with a doctor now but she would have none of it. All I could do was try and make her comfortable and give her hot drinks. She told me before that she was from Chiang Saen and she said she wanted to go see who she described as "old man doctor." She told me that she had been in an motorbike accident when she was younger and that he was a good doctor who she trusted and that was where all her family lived.
I said fine. I would buy her a plane ticket the next day and give her what money I could and I promised I would send her money to pay for hospital bills which I meant as she told me that in Thailand that there was no free medical care and she said her and her family had no money.
The next day when I said I would book a flight for her she said that she wanted me to go with her. I didn't want to go because I didn't want trouble with her family and if something happened to me with the police then I couldn't be of any help to her. I wanted to cut my holidays short, go back to Australia and go to work till the banks opened after Christmas to send her more money if she needed it straight away – and get a bank loan if she needed more. As she told me, she phoned her old man doctor and he told her she may need an operation and it could cost 300,000 baht and I didn't have anything like that kind of money. But she got angry with that and said she didn't want to go alone. She said I would forget about her and find a new lady even though I had given her my e-mail and phone numbers.
We just stayed at the hotel that day. It was a stand off. She didn't want to go to the hospital in Ko Samui and I didn't want to go to Chiang Rai where her doctor was. I really had her best intentions at heart but she didn't see it that way and she didn't understand English very well so it was difficult to reason with her.
The day after that she was showing signs of recovery but still didn't seem right and she told me that her head still hurt too much. So I insisted we go to the doctor.
We went, she went in the room with the doctor alone when she came out she was crying and said the doctor told her she needs to go to hospital for a scan. She had told me she had a sister in Bangkok so I suggested we go to there as I had a flight leaving from Bangkok in 7 days and so I could stay at the hospital with her if she wanted.
Straight away I went and booked flights for us to Bangkok. Her sister and boyfriend picked us up at Bangkok Airport and we took Pear straight to hospital for a scan. I waited in a waiting room of the hospital with her sister who didn't speak any English while Pear had her scan.
When she came out she spoke to her sister and then told me that the doctor told her she needs an operation and that she hadn't told her sister because she did not want her upset. She said she wanted to go to the hospital in Chiang Rai and see her doctor. I said I would book her flights to go the next day but that I would not go. I would go to Australia so I could send her money. She was angry about that and said she wanted to stay with me until I left in case I got a new lady even though all I wanted was to go back to Australia.
I took her to a bank and got her to set up a bank account so I could send her money. It was my idea. I work in remote areas where there are no banks so I could use Internet banking to send her money if she needed it. She stayed with me for the 7 days until I left even though I thought she should just go see her doctor, she insisted on staying with me. I had $AUD 3000 in my account and gave her that before I left. <You stupid tool! – Stick>
A few days after I got back she told me over the phone that her doctor told her she needed an operation and it would cost 250,000 baht or she might die. I wanted to do the right thing. I had a good credit rating and after a few days I got a loan approved from the bank and sent her $AUD 9000 and felt it would cover her expenses for a while. I told her to send me the hospital details and send me any medical bills and I would send her the money for them but she never has. Within 2 weeks she needed more money for food and medicine. I have been sending her $1000 a month since.
I am 26 and work as a carpenter. I don't make lots of money and it is putting huge pressure on me. I am becoming very stressed about this. She told me she has been receiving treatment from Overbrook Hospital in Chiang Rai but when I phoned them they said she has never stayed there and is not on there records. Now I am getting emails that are supposed to be from her sister telling me Pear is in a coma and they need another 250,000 baht for an operation or they will contact the police in Australia!
I don't know what I should do! Since the accident I have tried to do the right thing morally but feel at least they could e-mail me the medical bill or give me her doctors name but they have not.
Any help or advice on this matter would me most appreciated.
While yes, it is possible that she suffered some sort of concussion related injury and yes, an operation may have been necessary, this all sounds like a scam.
Had you asked me for advice earlier, this is what I would have said: Tell her to go to the best hospital in Chiang Rai and have them call you on a number that you can verify is the hospital's. You need to speak to the doctor who presumably will speak good English and explain the situation to you in detail. After that, tell Pear you require a fax from the hospital, sent from a verifiable fax number, on hospital letter head outlining the doctor's name, the injury, the recommended treatment and the cost. Once you have all of that, you can then decide if you wish to finance the treatment, seek other opinions, or even just let her loose and on her own.
Of course, this is a scam. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but you have been rorted by a bargirl.