A BACKPACKER'S trip to Thailand turned into a "holiday from hell" after she crashed a moped through a window.
The tourist sliced her face open from side to side and needed 56 stitches after the collision.
Emma Lewis, 24, was driving the scooter when she lost control and crashed into a house window while on the way to go snorkelling in Koh Phangan.
A taxi driver quickly came to her aid when he witnessed the aftermath of the crash and drove her to a local medical clinic.
Emma's injuries included deep cuts on her left shoulder, right thigh and knee – as well as the wound on her face and severed tendons in her right foot.
She was "x-rayed and packed with gauze" before being rushed to Bangkok Samui Hospital in Koh Samui, in two ambulances and a speedboat.
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She was treated with stitches – racking up £20k in medical bills – before returning to the UK for a skin graft on her foot.
Four months later, she is now almost-fully recovered.
Her scarring wasn't permanent – but she'll have to use factor 30 sunscreen on her face whenever she leaves the house for the rest of the year.
Emma, a student, from Basingstoke, Hampshire, said: "The glass window shattered and that's how I got all my injuries.
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"The glass cut the top of my right foot and there was complete skin loss.
"The wound was five-centimetres-by-five-centimetres deep – you could see inside. They needed to take skin from my left hip to cover it.
"It was like something out of Halloween – it was horrible. The operation in Thailand alone would've cost £10,000, as well as the stitches and a seven-day stay.
"The nurses were really nice, but they'd keep coming into my room at 2am with a card machine."
Emma also struggled with the language barrier during her time in hospital, where she had a limited choice of meals.
"The communication barrier was quite hard – there was a lot of Google Translate going on," she said.
"As a vegetarian, I struggled with the food as well. It was a struggle having to eat tofu and rice every single meal."
While waiting to be flown back to London for surgery, the added pressure of a potential £20k medical bill added a lot of stress to Emma's situation.
"Every day it was like, 'you need to pay this bill, you need to pay that bill.' I did have insurance, but the company was really bad at communicating."
With the help of her dad, Dave, Emma was able to cover the bills – before being reimbursed by the travel company.
"It only cost £200 to take the policy out, and it saved me over £20,000 in medical bills," she said.
"I posted it on TikTok in the hopes that someone might see it and decide to buy travel insurance, too.
"If you're going to be riding mopeds in Thailand – make sure you're covered. Always wear a helmet, and make sure you're renting.
"It might seem like a lot at first, but £200 is so worth it when it comes to situations like this."
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