Family ‘overwhelmed’ by response to airlift Hartlepool man home

Simon Ankers.
Simon Ankers.

The family of a Hartlepool man who suffered catastrophic brain damage in Poland are ‘overwhelmed’ by the support they have received.

Simon Ankers, 39, is currently in a coma at a Poland hospital after collapsing at the airport while waiting for a flight to make a surprise visit to his family in the town.

Simon Ankers and his sister, Victoria.

Simon Ankers and his sister, Victoria.

His heartbroken family launched an appeal to raise £15,000 for an air ambulance to fly Simon back to Hartlepool, so he can have his loved ones around him.

Just two days after the online fundraising page was opened £3,500 has already been donated.

Simon’s sister, Victoria Ankers, said she and her family wanted to thank everyone for their generosity and the amount raised so far in such a short time is amazing.

She said they have had so many messages of support and offers of help, which they are very grateful for.

We are truly overwhelmed by everyone’s kindness and generosity

Victoria Ankers

The mum-of-two, said: “We are truly overwhelmed by everyone’s kindness and generosity and will get our Simon home one way or another.”

Simon’s devastated family have been told the damage to his brain is very extensive and he will not recover and may never regain consciousness. But, there is no way of telling how long he will remain in a coma and his devasted family are desperate to bring him home to a specialised unit.

The former Brierton Comprehensive schoolboy was at Poznan Airport waiting for a flight to Newcastle when he collapsed and as yet it is unclear what caused it.

Victoria, 36, and their dad, Denis Ankers, 67, who lives in Wales, flew to Poland so they could see Simon.

But, his mum, Pauline Reeve, 63, who lives in the Stranton area of Hartlepool, is in a race against time to see her son before he slips away because her own medical conditions are making it difficult to organise for her to fly.

Simon loves to travel and has been all over the world, but makes several visits a year back to Hartlepool and always at Christmas.

He is a keen surfer and moved to Newquay for the sport and has made friends all over the world, who have been sending their support to his family.

A Charity Race Night to raise money towards the fund to bring Simon home will be held on August 12 at Billingham Cricket Club, starting at 7pm.

To make a donation to the appeal visit