The family of a 31-year-old who died abroad is relieved after his body was flown home this week thanks to the support of the community.
Kim Ridgway from Hailsham was in a race against time to raise funds following the death of her son Paul Ancell. The father-of-one from Seaford was in Thailand training in the Tiger Muay Thai academy and was killed in a motorbike accident on April 21. His family was told they needed to find around £4,500 in seven days to fly his body home otherwise the Thai authorities would conduct their own service.
Ms Ridgway, who in a family statement described her son as a ‘loveable rogue’, said he found his passion in Thai kick boxing/MMA fighting and loved working out at the gym. The 48-year-old, who also lost another son Liam Ridgway who died in 2007 in Demelza House Children’s Hospice in Kent, said the family was ‘extremely grateful’ and ‘overwhelmed’ by the generosity and kindness of people. She added, “Myself and the whole family would like to thank every single person that helped raise money to get Paul home. Every penny was vital in reaching the total.”
She added, “We are obviously still devastated at the loss of my son Paul, but we are totally overwhelmed with relief that he is back home where he belongs.
“The sense of desperation and anxiety has been taken off our shoulders, so hopefully we can start to grieve and mourn his loss now which we haven’t had time to do as all our emotions have been tied up with fundraising to get him home.
“It’s going be a long road ahead for our family, because there still has to be an inquest and that could takes months, but all our concentration at the minute is just to lay Paul to rest, and let him be at peace.”
She said the family would continue to try and raise money for Paul’s daughter and anyone that would like to donate can do so at: www.gogetfunding.com/project/paul-ancells-daughters-trust-fund