| Last updated
A dad is fighting for his life after getting bit by a cobra while battling coronavirus.
Ian Jones was working with his charity in Jodhpur, India, when he fell ill for the second time with the deadly disease, and is now in intensive care after being bitten by the deadly snake.
Mr Jones lives on the Isle of Wight with his family, but was in Asia working with Sabirian, a charity-backed social enterprise he runs which helps people escape poverty.
His family have called him a 'fighter' and revealed that he has already suffered from malaria and dengue fever, and is now paralysed and blind as a result.
Speaking about the heartbreaking episode, his son Seb said they are all still hopeful he will pull through.
He said: "He had not been able to travel home due to the pandemic and as a family we understood his desire to continue to support the many people who relied on him.
"We were naturally concerned about him though and then when we heard he had also suffered what is usually a fatal snakebite on top of all that he had been through, we honestly could not believe it.
"It really has been touch and go, he is stable at the moment although he has paralysis in his legs and blindness, both of which we hope is temporary, but it is clear he is going to need to remain in hospital out there for some time to come.
"We are extremely grateful to his colleagues there who have been brilliant and rallied around him in his time of need, as indeed he did for them."
Sabirian helps to train 70 Indian craftspeople aged between 18-87 to import and sell their crafts in the UK in an ethical and sustainable way.
Community Action Isle of Wight, which owns Sabirian, has now set up a GoFundMe page to help raise enough money to cover the medical bills and transport to get him home.
It reads: "Ian was, at the time, already battling a second bout of Covid-19, having survived an earlier attack in March, when the snake bite took matters to a whole new level of severity.
"Ian suffered the potentially fatal bite whilst at his Jodphur base, where many of the local craftsmen and women that Sabirian support live and work.
"Now facing, mounting medical bills and being unable to leave the country, we are setting up this Go Fund Me page in the hope of urgently raising some money to help meet the tens of thousands of pounds needed for his care, before he can return home to his family on the Isle of Wight."
So far, more than £8,800 has been raised, with hundreds of people donating.
Mike Bulpitt, of Community Action Isle of Wight, said: "Ian has put so much on the line to continue to support the people out in India that he works with, living in difficult conditions and being away from his own family and friends on the island for most of the year.
"He is now facing a long road to recovery and we are appealing for any fundraising support people can give to help us meet his medical costs, until he can eventually be brought home.
"We hope that he will soon be able to get back to the work he loves and to supporting those that need him, but right now he needs all our help to get through this battle to survive."
You can donate to Ian's GoFundMe here.
Featured Image Credit: Claire Robertson/Sebastian Jones
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read