Former student in Portugal hospital

DOCTORS in Portugal are today fighting to save a former Suffolk College student's leg after he was knocked down and nearly killed.A massive fundraising operation has begun in the hope of collecting enough money to bring Jake Bennett home once he is fit enough to travel.

DOCTORS in Portugal are today fighting to save a former Suffolk College student's leg after he was knocked down and nearly killed.

A massive fundraising operation has begun in the hope of collecting enough money to bring Jake Bennett home once he is fit enough to travel.

Jan Mann, who works for Jake's mum Maz Pickett, said £10,000 is needed to airlift the 25-year-old back to England as he has no medical insurance.

Mrs Mann said: "Jake has two broken legs. One is severely shattered so they have told Maz there could be a possibility that he would lose it, we don't know yet. He has a broken arm, several broken ribs and is suffering from a small bleed on the brain which they are hoping to operate.


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"What we are trying to do is raise as much money as we can because Jake did not have any insurance that we are aware off. They are looking at about £10,000 to airlift him home when his is able to be moved."

Mr Bennett, who studied design on computers, left England on July 11 for Faro where he has friends and was hoping to find work as a landscape gardener.

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However he was knocked down by car on July 16. His mum and stepdad, Leo, were informed of their son's condition by police around 9am the following morning.

Mrs Pickett, who is the landlady of the Cooper's Dip public house in Albion Street, Saxmundham, flew out on July 19 to be with her son. Mr Bennett's sister Lil, 22, and his dad Ray also went out to Portugal.

Mrs Mann said: "Jake has spoken to his mum a couple of times, but he is unaware of the extent of his injuries. When he saw he mum he just said 'what are you doing here I've just had a bump?'. Most of the time they keep sedated because he gets very agitated when he's awake, and to keep him still as much as possible so they can allow for the swelling (on his brain) to go down. He's not out of the woods yet."

"Everybody was in a state of shock (when they heard) but now the whole town is rallying around to give as much support and help as they can. They have been absolutely brilliant.

"Everybody likes Jake. He's fun-loving, knows everybody and everybody knows him. Jake has a brilliant sense of humour and he can turn his hand to anything and is very intelligent."

Mrs Mann said a collection at the pub has already raised £500. A raft of other fundraising events are also set to take place in a bid make the five-figure target to airlift Mr Bennett home.

While his family are paying Mr Bennett's medical bills, his supporters are eager for more donations. "Everything would be most appreciated," said Mrs Mann.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to the fundraising efforts should telephone the Cooper's Dip on 01728 602683.

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