A British father blinded and paralysed by a snakebite in India has been reunited with his “beloved” dog while he recovers.
Ian Jones, who was working with a social enterprise helping locals trade their way out of poverty in the north-west of the country, is currently using a wheelchair.
The former healthcare worker’s family, based in the Isle of Wight, said they hope he can return to the UK soon and that in the meantime they are taking comfort in him being back with his dog Rocky.
More than £17,000 has been raised on a GoFundMe page set up by Community Action Isle of Wight, which owns the social enterprise Sabirian, to help cover Mr Jones’s medical costs.
Thanking the public for their donations the family said they, together with Mr Jones and the charity, are “hugely grateful for the incredible response to the fundraising appeal”.
The statement, released through Community Action Isle of Wight, said: “We had no idea it would generate such an amazing global response and we would like to thank each and every one of you for your support, we are so very grateful.”
After being treated in intensive care Mr Jones is recuperating back at his base in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
Mr Jones’s son Seb has previously said his father had already experienced malaria, dengue fever and Covid-19, but described him as a “fighter” and said he had “remained resolute in his determination to stay in the country and continue his work to help the people that needed his support”.
He remains paralysed and blind following the bite by the venomous black king cobra just over two weeks ago, his family said.
The statement said: “While Ian is out of hospital he is not out of the woods yet – he has paralysis in his legs and is therefore confined to a wheelchair and he is also totally blind, both as a result of the cobra venom, which is extremely frightening for him.”
His family said they “take some comfort” from the fact that he is back in more familiar surroundings “and with his beloved dog Rocky and able to enjoy some cuddles again”.
They added: “We are doing everything we can to try and bring him home so he can continue his recovery here with us and we will keep you posted on his progress.”