Brit man’s body kept in Thailand hospital for two weeks over ‘passport error’

A retired Brit's body is being held in Thailand after a mix-up over passport numbers, his stepdaughter has said.

David Donoghue, who retired to Phuket 15 years ago, will join a mass cremation at the hospital on Wednesday if the issue cannot be rectified.

Gemma Swift, his stepdaughter, says she is "pleading" with embassy staff in the country to resolve a "purely administrative issue".

The Foreign Office said staff were trying to obtain the correct paperwork.

The 75-year-old, who lived in Bury in Greater Manchester before emigrating, suffered from the lung disease COPD.

He was taken to the Thai hospital by ambulance but had an expired passport with him.

Ms Swift said he died in hospital on February 15, and the paperwork from the British embassy needed to secure the release of his body to the funeral director showed the number of his current passport.

As the two numbers didn't match, his body has remained at the Thai hospital instead.

Swift, 37, said it was something that could easily be corrected and the situation was "horrendous" for the family.

She told BBC Wales: "The British Embassy over in Bangkok, they said that because [the number] was from his current passport, they were unable to change the letter.

"They have said that they won't reissue a letter with the passport number that he's got in the hospital with him."

The plan was to arrange a funeral for him in Thailand and to later bring his ashes back to the UK, and the family would then go back to the country to scatter his ashes, she said.

They were unable to travel to Thailand to be with him in his final days due to the 14-day Covid quarantine period in place.

Get latest news headlines delivered free

Want all the latest shocking news and views from all over the world straight into your inbox?

We've got the best royal scoops, crime dramas and breaking stories – all delivered in that Daily Star style you love.

Our great newsletters will give you all you need to know, from hard news to that bit of glamour you need every day. They'll drop straight into your inbox and you can unsubscribe whenever you like.

You can sign up here – you won't regret it…

Ms Swift said she and the family felt helpless trying to resolve the situation 6,000 miles away.

She added: "I thought this was a basic human right to be able to give somebody a funeral and I accept that there is always going to be red tape…but please just issue a letter and let us bring him home."

Before Coronavirus swept the globe, the family were travelling to Phuket regularly to visit Mr Donoghue, who previously worked for the Thai tourist police.

A Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office spokesperson said: "We are assisting the family of a British man following his death in Thailand and our thoughts are with them at this deeply difficult time.

"Our staff are in contact with the local hospital and funeral director to help his family obtain the necessary paperwork to ensure his body is treated in line with their wishes."

Source: Read Full Article