Victoria woman hit by drunk driver in Thailand fundraising to save foot

Images submitted by Jessica Kliaman
Danielle Kliaman had to be airlifted to a hospital in Bangkok for her foot to be treated after she was hit by a drunk driver.

A Victoria woman is at risk of having her foot amputated after she was hit by a drunk driver while travelling in Thailand, her sister says.

Danielle Kliaman has been in Thailand since January for a three-month trip. Over the weekend she was riding her scooter when she was hit by a drunk driver.

“It completely knocked her down, obviously, she’s suffered a concussion, a black eye, but her right foot got completely mangled every single bone in her foot all the way up to her ankle completely shattered,” Jessica Kliaman, Danielle’s sister, told CHEK News.

The driver left her on the side of the road, but there were eye-witnesses to the crash who helped get Danielle to the local hospital, then was transferred to a larger hospital in Koh Samui.

“She was treated terribly, they didn’t give her any painkillers for like five hours,” Jessica said. “At this time, we were trying to get in contact with her health insurance and try to get coverage because we found out that she’s going to be needing surgery, the doctor took one look at her foot and wouldn’t even touch it because it was just too damaged.”

She needed to be transferred to Bangkok, so the family paid $30,000 out of pocket to get her airlifted there.

“She’s currently in Bangkok right now and she was risking losing her foot just because we waited so long. She has major infection in her right foot right now, so we’re trying really hard to get her home, the insurance company is probably not going to be able to cover all the costs,” Jessica said.

“She’s going to need about five surgeries altogether to completely redo her foot. And if we can save it, we just don’t know at this time.”

Initially, the family thought they would need about $90,000 when it was believed Danielle would only need one surgery. That has since risen and the family is asking for help.

“She does have travel insurance, but the travel insurance is only covered up to $250,000 and even so, those travel those kinds of companies don’t just fork over a quarter of a million dollars so easily,” Jessica said.

“It takes a ton of time and research and you have to pay upfront for those bills first so our family is trying to gather and put as much money as we can on credit cards but nobody just has like $50,000 chilling in a bank account.”

When Danielle gets back, she will need to be off work while she recovers from the surgery and relearns how to walk, so the costs will also help pay for those associated costs. Jessica has started a GoFundMe to help pay the upfront costs for her sister’s treatment.

Editor’s note: The images below may be distressing to some readers.

Images submitted by Jessica Kliaman

Laura Brougham

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