Heartbroken Hartlepool mum in race against time to see son

Simon Ankers who is in a coma in Poland.
Simon Ankers who is in a coma in Poland.

The family of a man who collapsed in Poland needs £15,000 to bring him home to the town.

Simon Ankers suddenly collapsed in Poland, where he is currently in a coma with no chance of recovering.

Simon Ankers and his sister Victoria.

Simon Ankers and his sister Victoria.

His family in Hartlepool has been told the brain damage is so extensive the 39-year-old may never regain consciousness.

Now, they have launched a campaign to raise the money to bring Simon, a former Brierton Comprehensive schoolboy, back to the town and to a specialised unit where he can have his loved ones around him.

In the meantime Simon's heartbroken 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.

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

Poznan Airport where Simon Ankers collapsed.

Poznan Airport where Simon Ankers collapsed.

But, Pauline suffers from severe rheumatoid arthritis and with her medical conditions it is proving difficult to organise for her to fly.

Victoria, who is mum to Caitlain, 16, and nine-year-old Drew, said: "They don't know how long Simon has got, it could be tomorrow or it could be months from now. My mam is utterly devastated that she hasn't seen him and its a race against time to get here there."

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

Victoria said he was at Poznan Airport waiting for a flight back to Newcastle, for a surprise visit to his family, when he collapsed.

Inside Poznan Airport where Simon Ankers collapsed.

Inside Poznan Airport where Simon Ankers collapsed.

But, because the family were not aware he was planning to fly back, they were not contacted about what had happened until July 26.

She said: "Devastatingly he has suffered catastrophic brain damage and will remain in a coma. We now know he is not expected to regain consciousness.

"There are no words to describe our pain, but we are all absolutely heartbroken and numb. We desperately need him home in a specialised unit to spend his days around us."

Victoria said her brother had medical insurance, so the hospital bills will be paid, but they need to raise the money to pay for a private air ambulance package to fly him home because he is not fit to travel by road.

She said: "Simon was born to travel and had lived in Australia and New Zealand. He had visited places like Bali, Abu Dhabi and Dubai too.

"He is definitely what you would call a free spirit, we never knew where he was, he would just ring up and say he was in Singapore or somewhere like that."

Simon, a keen surfer, moved down to Newquay in Cornwall, when he was in his late teens and has lots of friends in the surfing world.

Victoria said Simon used to do a number of jobs, such as gardening and building work, to fund his globe-trotting lifestyle and is an expert at getting bargain flights.

She said: "He loved exploring Europe and had recently found a love for Berlin and Poland over the last year."

"I hope we can raise the funds to get him on one last flight back to his home town of Hartlepool."

To make a donation visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/victoria-ankers-1