Groom in coma after Bali moped accident on stag do

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sunday, 8 September 2019, 12:27PM
Ash Hickman and Tam Matthews have been together for eight years and engaged for four. (Photo / Supplied)


Last weekend Tam Matthews was getting the final fitting for her wedding dress when she received the worst phone call imaginable.

Her fiance Ash Hickman, 32, had been involved in a moped accident while on his bucks weekend away in Bali.

He is now in hospital in a coma with a fractured skull, despite wearing a helmet at the time, just days before the Cairns couple had been due to marry.

Instead of walking down the aisle this weekend Matthews, 27, is by Hickman's side in a Kuta hospital, where he is set to be slowly being taken off life support in stages.

Speaking to from Bali, Matthews said she was still coming to terms with what had happened.

"It happened so quickly and I think I held it together quite well from finding out until I arrived," Matthews said.

"Just seeing him look like that it was the worst thing I've ever seen in my life. Ashley is such a lively, funny, energetic, loud person and it looked like he wasn't in there. He didn't look like Ashley."

Hickman's mum Sharon gives him a kiss. Photo / Supplied

Hickman's mum Sharon gives him a kiss. Photo / Supplied

Hickman's family is now trying to pay for his medical bills, with a Go Fund Me page set up to help with fundraising efforts.

On Saturday Hickman's friends were forced to help pay $32,000 on the spot before he could undergo life-saving surgery to relieve pressure on his brain.

One of them managed to withdraw some of the money from his super, while another fortunately had savings he could tap into, Matthews said.

Hickman is expected to spend a further five days in the intensive care unit, with it expected to be at least fortnight before he is fit for travel.

This means the couple's wedding this Saturday is now sadly out of the question.

"I did email most of our vendors and they've been really understanding," Matthews said. "At this stage I've just said it will be a postponement, but I think we will need to cancel it. He will be in rehabilitation for a long time if he wakes up."

While Hickman had travel insurance for his trip but he did not have the international drivers' license required for driving a moped in Bali so he wasn't covered.

Writing on his Go Fund Me page on Monday, Hickman's sister Brooke Parker said costs for his medical care had "already exceeded AU$50,000".

"We are still unsure of the full extent of his head injuries at this stage," she added.

So far, Ash's family has managed to raise more than $11,700 of their $52,000 goal and has been shared more than 1200 times.

Matthews said she has been overwhelmed by the financial support Mr Hickman has received, but doctors have estimated her fiance's care in Bali will cost much more.

Hickman's medical care is expected to cost up to $80,000. Photo / Supplied

Hickman's medical care is expected to cost up to $80,000. Photo / Supplied

"At this stage the number AU$75,000 has been thrown around, we're not 100 per cent sure," she said.

"It's costing AU$4000 a day just for him to be in that room, in that care. Then there's medication costs on top of that as well as once he comes out of ICU he will still need more treatment.

"Then the flying him home, which we haven't quite explored because we just want him to be stable until we start organising those things."


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