This blog post is a departure from my Unexpected Year in Thailand series, and from the usual types of posts I write in general. But I wanted to bring some attention to the plight of an ex-pat in Chiang Mai who was shot recently, and is in need of serious financial help. His name is Nic Brown, he's 35 years old and he has been living in Chiang Mai for about a year. While out with friends one night, he helped break up a bar fight and saved a drunk man from a serious beating. That man returned to the bar with a gun a little while later and opened fire. Nic was shot, and the bullet punctured his lung, shattered his ribs and damaged his spine. He's currently in the hospital, and doctors estimate it will be between one and four years before he walks again.
I interviewed Nic earlier this week in his hospital room, and was deeply moved and impressed by how good-natured he seems. It was also chilling to think about how easily any one of my friends, or even myself, could end up in his position. We go out to the bars in Chiang Mai all the time, and we have hung out at the bar where he was shot. This wasn't in some sketchy neighborhood nor was it a seedy bar to be avoided. Nic did nothing wrong and is now in a hospital bed, unable to move his legs, and faces years of physical therapy and recovery time.
You can read more about Nic's story at Asian Correspondent, where I posted an article on his situation. A friend of mine (who also wrote a piece about the shooting) and I were talking about what happened, and both said that when you're living abroad, you can only hope that when something terrible happens, the ex-pat community will come together and give you a hand. I know money is tight for everyone, but please give if you can, or even just share his story in the hopes that other people will help him out.