Christmas drink left Gary fighting for life in Vietnam

by Sylvia Pownall
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An Irish man left fighting for his life in Vietnam after a suspected poisoning on Christmas Eve is on the road to recovery and hopes to return home soon.

Gary Doyle from Bayside in north Dublin was rushed to hospital and spent days on life support after he was found struggling to breathe on his first night in Ho Chi Minh City.

But his brother, Anthony (Anto), who flew to be by his bedside, said he is now on the road to recovery and is hoping to be well enough to fly home in coming days.

Anthony, who works at Grange Builders Providers in Baldoyle, told Dublin Gazette: “Gary touched down in Ho Chi Minh City on December 23.

“On a night out he was either spiked or poisoned with a lethal drug of some description. The doctors could specify through a blood test exactly what the foreign substance that entered his body was.”

Gary is at Chi Rey Hospital where he spent two weeks on a ventilator. He sustained liver and kidney damage and is also being treated for pneumonia and an abnormal heart rate.

Anthony said: “I flew in this morning [Sunday] to try to get him well, pay the medical bill and get him back to Ireland at some point over the coming week or weeks.

“It was an emotional reunion with my brother. I had a talk with the main doctor looking after him and he said Gary is lucky to be alive.

“If he had not been brought to the hospital in such a speedy manner, then most likely he would not have been as lucky as he was in pulling through.

“He is still in ICU but stable, off the ventilator and now breathing for himself. Most of his bodily functions are now normal, but he remains very sick with feeding tubes inserted and on antibiotics to prevent infection.

“He is for the most part able to understand what people are saying to him, but struggling to communicate right now. I can understand a few words he says here and there.”

A GoFundMe page set up to help get Gary back home has already exceeded its €5,000 target with €7,800 donated in two days. Anthony said he and the family were bowled over by the response.

He added: “Gary will now concentrate on building his strength over the coming weeks. We are still not sure when he will be in a fit state to leave the hospital.”

To support the Doyle family, see the GoFundMe page here.

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