Aussie Muay Thai boxer’s career on the ropes after Koh Samui road knockoutLegacy

The promising career of a talented Aussie Muay Thai boxer is on the ropes after a devastating knockout by a man driving on the wrong side of the road while riding his scooter on the island of Koh Samui in Thailand. In keeping with the trend, his insurance company declared that the aspiring martial arts fighter was not covered for the accident.

The accident victim, Tommy Kirk, now has to find tens of thousands of dollars to cover his medical bills.

The 23 year old mine operator from Kitchener in New South Wales’s Hunter region, was only three days into an intensive two-week Muay Thai training trip on Koh Samui with a friend when disaster struck on Tuesday, January 30. While riding his scooter, he was violently knocked off by a driver travelling on the wrong side of the road, resulting in a forceful collision that pierced his skin and caused a clean break of both the tibia and fibula in his right leg.

Following the accident, Kirk underwent emergency surgery to save his leg but his medical expenses continue to mount. He faces the daunting prospect of having to fly home in business class after further procedures to mend the shattered bone.

Despite having travel insurance, Kirk’s hopes were dashed when the company declined to cover his medical bills, citing a lack of coverage for motorcycle injuries of this nature.

This unfortunate incident serves as a poignant reminder for foreign travellers to ensure comprehensive motorbike cover in their travel insurance plans, particularly in regions where mopeds are a prevalent mode of transportation.

Aussie Muay Thai boxer's career on the ropes after Koh Samui road knockout | News by Thaiger
Picture courtesy of the Daily Mail.

Nathan Jones, a friend and fellow Muay Thai fighter, launched a fundraiser to assist Kirk in his journey home. Jones recounted the horrifying details of the accident, emphasising Kirk’s innocence in the matter and the grievous extent of his injuries.

“Tommy was only crawling along when another driver came flying through an intersection and wiped him out.

“He was trapped on the side of the road and the ambos had to come and clean him up. Bad compound fracture. A clean break of the tib and fib in his lower leg.”

Despite the setback, Kirk’s passion for Muay Thai remains undeterred. His dedication to the martial art had led him to embark on this transformative journey in Thailand, only to be met with tragedy.

“He’s only a young fella and he’s gone over there to try to do a good thing for himself, turned his life around for the better and then something like that happens. It’s heartbreaking.”

Jones confirmed that his friend had abstained from drinking alcohol, and said it was evident that the other driver bore responsibility for the accident.

Last week, doctors were scheduled to implant an internal fixation rod to stabilise the fractured bone. However, the surgery was postponed until today due to the discovery of sepsis in his lungs.

Despite the necessity of the procedure for his safe return home, it is considered elective. Consequently, Kirk’s distraught family had to raise approximately US$35,000 before doctors would proceed with the operation.

Now, as Kirk’s family grapples with the financial burden of his medical expenses, the community has rallied behind him, with the fundraiser garnering almost US$17,000 in support. Jones, reflecting on Kirk’s resilience and the impact of the sport on his life, expressed hope for his friend’s full recovery and a safe return home.

“Muay Thai changed Tommy’s life and gave him a purpose to be healthy.

“For this to happen to someone on holiday is nothing short of a tragedy, and we hope we can assist his family in bringing him home safely to make a full recovery.”

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Author: Bob Scott