Tributes have poured in for a Hartlepool man who died after collapsing and falling into a coma in Poland.
Simon Ankers suddenly became unwell in Poznan Airport at the end of July while he was waiting to board a flight back to the North East for a surprise visit to his Hartlepool family.
Doctors warned his brain damage was so severe he would never recover from the coma he was in and his devastated loved ones launched an appeal to raise enough money to fly him back to the town by air ambulance so they could be by his side. In less than a week almost £13,000 was raised and the 39-year-old was brought back to the town.
Tragically, the former Brierton Comprehensive schoolboy died on Friday, August 25, surrounded by his family.
His sister Victoria Ankers who launched the funding page said: “We are absolutely heartbroken beyond words.
“He fought harder than the doctors could ever have imagined and amazed them with his strength and resilience.”
Dozens of people have taken to the Mail’s Facebook page to leave messages of condolence for Simon.
Julie Tweddle wrote: “Pleased you all got to share the final two weeks together so sad.”
Maxine Sirs said: “Heartbreaking my thoughts with you all RIP young man.”
Samantha Hornsey said: “Aww so very sad.
“Thinking of his family at this sad time.”
Marie Duncan wrote: “So very sorry but glad you spent the last two weeks with him RIP.”
Margaret Taylor said: “That is so sad.
“My condolences go to all his family and friends R.I.P.”
Geoff Hare wrote: “God Bless him so so sad RIP.”
Kerry Lunt said: “So sad , glad he’s home with his family x.”
Simon, who also leaves his mum, Pauline Reeve, 63, who lives in the Stranton area of Hartlepool, and his dad, Denis Ankers, 67, who now lives in Wales, was a keen traveller and had been all over the world.
The family were especially keen to get Simon home because Pauline suffers from severe rheumatoid arthritis and her medical condition was proving it very difficult for her to fly out to Poland to be with her son.
Simon, who was a keen surfer, moved down to Newquay in Cornwall and had lots of friends in the surfing fraternity.
Despite moving away, he always returned home to visit his family regularly.